Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Choice Cuts book review

Choice Cuts book reviewChoice Cuts book review, originally uploaded by beFOODled.

Do any of you have a favourite book on food writing out there? My friend Deirdre of The Film Cricket gave me Choice Cuts last Christmas. The title is an apt description because it's a compendium of food musings cut from the works of literary giants and food writers throughout the ages (all of whom are introduced in the foreward by Mark Kurlansky).

I particularly like the entries by George Orwell from Down and Out in Paris in London, where he describes the behaviour of Paris cooks and waiters. There are excerpts from historians Herodotus and Plutarch on Egyptian and Roman attitudes to food, and choice cuts from more modern but still pioneering food writers, such as French lawyer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and the American M. F. K. Fisher.

The chapters are arranged according to a creative theme, such as "Food and sex," "Poultry, fowl and other ill-fated birds," "The mystery of eggs" and "The dark side of chocolate."

Some excerpts are a few words, others a few pages. There are poems, quotes, literary passages and photographs with captions. It's truly a great gift idea for the busy foodie!


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