Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Mentions

Friday night, Nick and I went to Barnes and Nobles for the first time in forever.  I wandered my way over to the cooking section and found a couple of interesting reads, one of which I picked up for future reference. 

Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World: A Concise History with 174 Recipes

I read the first few pages of this book and decided that in order to tackle the upcoming middle east countries, I needed to read the rest of the book.  I feel like I, like many of us I'm sure, have a lot of assumptions and prejudices against that whole part of the world that are either wrong or severely skewed.  The first page of this book told me that cookbooks were the most common form of written language in this area of the world in the 1400s.  Isn't that something?  I don't know why, but that intrigues me a lot.  For an area that's built mostly from nomadic cultures (or so I hear, I haven't really looked into that statement, to be honest), it's interesting to me that the legacy that they felt most compelled to write down was...their cooking. I am VERY excited to attempt justice for these dishes, and can't wait to learn more about the cultures that came up with them.

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

This one left me pouting.  I'd never seen this book until Friday night, and I don't know why I thought I was so original in my attempt to eat my way around the world (though this guy did it literally, and didn't actually *make* anything he ate...cheater), but I have to admit, this one burst my bubble a bit.  That said, it's actually a completely different take on the concept.  It's ordered from lowest to highest daily caloric intake, and doesn't have anything to do with traditional culture or's just what this sample of a cross section of a culture eats on a daily basis.  Some of it is pretty gross...and not because it's foreign meats either.  The least appealing meals were the most prepackaged.

Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure

This one sounds interesting, but gets kinda crummy reviews.  I wish I could get sponsored to do something like that, but less eating at restaurants, more eating at local homes and watching/attempting to record old ladies make dishes they've served for generations.  I feel like, in the age of fast food, we're losing our souls by losing our abilities to cook.  I love making red beans because it links me to generations upon generations of cajun ladies, in kitchens across the ages.  (Ok, maybe not that long, but you know what I mean.)  Maybe I need to write my own book.  I think it'd definitely be more than 90 days of travel though.  Hey, corporate big wigs...anyone out there want to sponsor a fantastic voyage?  :-)

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