The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc shares a review of a book related to cooking.
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Guest Editor: Chris Manganaro
you ever stopped to think about the food you eat? Whether it is a
complicated dish or even something simple like a salad, there is
usually more to it than meets the eye. John Thorne is a man who tends
to look much deeper into the food he eats than most people.
Thorne’s book, written with his wife Matt (which is a nickname for
on the Fire: Further Exploits of a Renegade Cook,
we are taken through a succession of essays that dive into the depths
of meaning that surround food, from the everyday to the lesser known
dishes from all over the world. Traveling through his research, his
expeditions are like that of an archeologist. Not only does he
dissect the ingredients and history of the food, but even the
to the fact that the book is a collection of essays that have been
written over the years, they do not all relate to one another. This
means the book has the flow of a collection which is to say, it does
not flow that well. While Thorne splits the book up into sections,
they do not necessarily make the transition from one essay to another
any smoother. One minute we are reading about a Vietnamese sandwich
and the next we are onto risotto. This may sound disconcerting, but
in actuality it is a bit of a blessing. At times the book can drag
due to the technical wording and academic approach and so the
spontaneous movement may mean you will find something more
entertaining soon enough.
the book is acontrast in itself with parts that will definitely
either be a hit or miss and no in between. As with the recipes
themselves, not everyone’s taste is the same. Thorne seems to enjoy
the way everything is broken down, but the reader may not be so
taken in by the topic of toast. It may leave them feeling burnt out.
There are times; however, where there are wonderful lines of writing
even within a large wall of pontificating about pots. These witty
lines or observations are what give his writing just enough flavor
for a reader to keep tossing Thorne’s words on their tongue. The
book also ends on a very personal note which makes Thorne more human
and gives us insight into him which makes the whole series of
articles have all the more meaning. Sometimes more salt or seasoning
is needed, but Thorne does throw the reader a bone once in a while
which makes the reading not only more bearable, but also worth it in
essays are not specifically formulated to be used as a cookbook, but
his enthusiasm for cooking makes it hard to resist a taste. Placing a
list of the recipes at the forefront of the book and giving extreme
details to the recipes at hand, it is quite possible to use this as a
cookbook. It should not solely be used as one, though, as one should
read each essay in order to fully experience the food.
this is but one of Thorne’s books, it is merely an hors d’oeuvre
or sample of his writing. If one enjoys their appetizer, there is
more out there to read by him and if not, at least you can say you
Published in: Cooking