Monday, September 30, 2013

September Reads

It's the last day of the month, so I'm packing up my library bag to take back to la bibliotheque tomorrow, and thought I would share some favorite reads from the 9th month of the year.

(I checked out all of the books from my local public library, so the following links go to the World Cat, so you can see it they are available at your local library too! And before you ask, World Cat is not some jet  setting feline (if only!), but it a World {card} Catalog, searching and linking library collections across the world. )

Di Bruno Brothers House of Cheese by Tenaya Darlington.
The minute I picked up this book, I knew I was going to have to buy a copy for myself. While reading it, I actually, literally, and physically hugged the book, more than once. Written by food blogger, Tenaya Darlington, also known as Madame Fromage, this beautiful book not only schools the reader in different kinds of artisans cheeses, but also suggests parings and gives some mighty fine suggestions for cheese boards. Cheese boards for everyone!  There are also ridiculously amazing sounding recipes, like S'mores with Scharfe Maxx (a cheese from Switzerland), and Grilled Peaches with Quadrello di Buffala (an Italian cheese). There really is an art to enjoying cheese. Eating it by itself it fine and great, but knowing how to pair which cheese with which bread, fruit, chocolate, etc makes the flavors ever so more delightful and life changing. Life. Changing.  

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss.
I am starting to realize that many of my current book selections are food theme. Everyone likes a good theme, right? My Berlin Kitchen is more than an autobiography of food blogger, Luisa Weiss (The Wednesday Chef), but a lovely and true tale on how food and food culture can intertwine in a meaningful life.  I will admit, that I am always envious of the European view of food, or at least from what I have experienced the handful of times I have been over across the seas. And I am really bad at explaining it, but over there,  but they seem to have a so much better relationship with food then our own diet/fast food obsessed culture, food and eating seems more like an event,  there is culture and love and history in every meal, that you have slow down to enjoy it all. And I think My Berlin Kitchen fancies this philosophy beautifully. Weiss shares stories from her life, the good and the bad, and each chapter ends with a recipe meaningful to the events she just shared.  I haven't tried making any of the recipes yet, but have copied down several, including Tomato Bread Soup, to hopefully try on those days where I whine as annoyingly as possible, I don't know what to eatttttttttttttt

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss
So, maybe I have been a little hard on American food, it isn't all disordered madness. I have eaten some pretty mind blowing food here in States. But reading, Salt, Sugar, Fat by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Michael Moss, has got me really thinking about the price we sometimes pay for convenience vs quality. The premise of the book is that the leading food companies, without guile, have worked out perfect equations of ingredients and additives in food, mainly salt, sugar, and fat, to keep the masses addicted to and thus buying their food brands and products. Never mind the health problems all this may cause those masses, which the companies seem fully aware of. And never mind how poor health can and often dominoes into many other pieces of society. Business is business and profit is profit. This book is a really interesting, eye opening and at times disturbing view of food science and food marketing. I honestly couldn't stop reading about how Lunchables came to be.  I didn't think I would ever say that. Michael Moss ends the books saying that he understands that people, realistically, can't give up processed food completely. Few people have the time and resources to grow and make from scratch every single food thing they put in their body. His hopes, with the book, was to educate consumers a little about the complicated game of the food industry, which in turn would hopefully allow those consumers to make more educated choices with our food purchases and menus.

I already have a {growing} pile of books waiting for me to crack up in October, and I even see a fiction book there. I try to restrain myself, but most times, I have this feeling that I MUST READ ALL THE BOOKS. 

 Books suggestions are always welcomed!


  1. I think Salt, Sugar, Fat scared me more than some of the others (Omnivore's Dilemma and such) because it felt harder to avoid the culprits. And it's always disheartening to know the things you enjoy and are supposed to give you what you need to survive are actually killing you :( So, let's eat cheese!!! I think I'm going to have to hunt that one down when I return to the states. I'm already going into withdrawals...6 months with no cheese! I don't know if I'll make it! (Side note, are you making your own cheese yet?)

  2. Try Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Riechl, former NYT food critic. Great read.

  3. I love that all your great reads are food books. I should check into that Salt, Sugar, Fat one. I think I might like it from the looks of it.