Saturday, July 19, 2008

New York at it's best.

On the Town in New York- Michael and Ariane Batterberry.

There is no question that New York is a city of great food. It has been for quite some time. 

In this book culinary couple Michael and Ariane Batterberry, founders of 'Food and Wine' magazine explore the history of the nightlife of the city. What are the reasons that New York has become such a focal point of the culinary world?Certainly the dinning scene to day bears little resemblance to the way that it was a hundred years ago. They have done a good job of tracing that change.

Certainly this is a well written and documented book. Anyone interested in food will enjoy and find this a most interesting  read. As will anyone who is interested in New York City itself. What the authors have have managed to do is to capture the essence of the place. Not an easy task. New York being the place that it is changes and evolves. A good picture has been drawn of the different stages that the places has been through. This in turn helps paint a bigger picture of the ever evolving culinary scene.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A little something for everyone.

Choice Cuts- A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History. -Mark Kurlansky Ed.

The whole 'savory selection' part of the title really does not do this book justice. This is a vast selection of some very good food writing some from very notable authors. Some of whom are well known for their writing Elizabeth David, Brillat-Savarin. Yet the vast majority however are a little more obscure. These prove to be the real strength of the book. Who hasn't heard of Proust and his madelines? But how often is Verral quoted about his views on peas? How many times have Newfoundlander's feelings about scrunchions been looked into?

Granted one might jump to the obvious question are these opinions that important? doesn't matter. The fact they have as well as many other have been included is the important thing. This is an interesting all inclusive book.

Certainly there is no shortage of information. The selections here range from a whimsical few lines to several detailed pages. The dates range anywhere from 300 BC to close to present day. Despite this impressive collection it is all neatly condensed in to chapter by subject from chocolate to bugs; from eggs to the Germans. What more could you want?