The Gastronomica Reader

Darra Goldstein, Editor University of California Press $39.95 (365p) ISBN 978-0-520-25939-3
This collection of articles from Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture will feed the curious and the jaded with an eclectic collection of food-related stories, photos and poems that range from the avant-garde to the mildly outrageous to the titillating and the occasionally ridiculous. This multifaceted presentation, graced with provocative illustrations, includes a profile of a famous restaurateur who became Hitler's caterer, an examination of taboos related to cooking apes, the chronicle of a foodie's colonoscopy, a surprisingly engaging essay regarding ""The Legacy of Iceland's Herring Oil and Meal Factories,"" and an investigation of food pornography (a stretch even for the open-minded); poems include odes to a sexy shallot and a talking potato. More conventional articles consider the traditional New York City egg cream (""Somehow the lack of those two ingredients never bothered customers""), drinking cappuccino along the Spice Trail, and television cooking shows (""the illegitimate love child, or even the prostitute, of the real world of gastronomy""). Putting the ""soup to nuts"" principal to good use, this volume should absorb anyone with an appetite for unconventional food writing. 64 color and b/w illustrations.
Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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