That Cook Book Meme

My favorite Baconaholic, Meg, (of I Heart Bacon) has tapped me to do the latest meme that’s been going around. I am to answer the Five Favorite Books Questions below. I’m sticking to cook books and books about food partly because of peer pressure, but mostly because I’ve been buying food books exclisvelu over the past year or so.

1. Total number of (cook) books Iâ??ve owned:
Right now? About 42-45. Far more than I realized. This is the most I’ve ever had in a collection all at once. I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten rid of a cookbook, although that may soon be changing.

2. Last (cook) book I bought:
That I bought? Hmmm…a small cheese cookbook about 2 weeks ago, entitled “Say Cheese“. It was 5 bucks at half price bookstore.

3. Last (food) book I read:
Oh lordy… last week I purchased and read “The Cheese Primer“. Not a bad book, but mostly reference. There’s no narrative, so don’t go thinking it’s a great read. The last narrative book I read, fiction or non, was “The Perfectionist“, which is getting a lot of play in literary circles.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:

As blasphemous as it might be to say, I don’t have any cook books which mean a lot to me. Rather, I have several books which have shaped the way I approach food as well as approach writing about food.

  • 1. Anthony Bourdain – Kitchen Confidential: Was one of the first to write truthfully about restaurants, warts and all. His approach allowed me to see that not all food writing has to be flowery prose.
  • 2. Alton Brown – I’m just here for the food: Understands that cooking is essentially a form of science, and has been able to communicate complex ideas into little kernals of information. He also understands that food is as much about context as it is about simply making the meal.
  • 3. Calvin Trillin – The Tummy Trilogy: Not a chef, nor a cook, nor even a food anthropologist. He’s simply a guy who likes food. He’s another writer who understands that food isn’t always pretty and isn’t at all about four star restaurants. The fact that he’s funny as hell doesn’t hurt either.
  • 4. Stewart Lee Allen – In the Devil’s Garden: A great book that puts food in context of history as well as the seven deadly sins. What I learned from this book is that foods do speak about us in an anthropological context. The addage is true, you can tell a person by what they eat. Highly Recommended.
  • 5. Reay Tannahill – Food in History: This should surprise no one that I like this book a great deal. I keep telling everyone. Food is one of only a handful of items which we have in common with everyone else. It shapes us individually as well as within our larger social cultures.

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?
I don’t know who’s done this already, so if you’ve already written one up, let me know.

Culinary Fool
Tigers and StrawberriesLenn Devours
Anyone and Everyone at Too Many Chefs

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