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Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager Paperback – March 1, 2011
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“Langdon Cook understands that the goal of hunting and foraging is not just to eat, but to eat well. Any city-eater can grab something at a supermarket, but to feel the thrill of grappling with lingcod or plucking dubious mushrooms gives the reader maximum pleasure—and zero pain. Provided you follow Cook’s recipes to satiate your whetted appetite. As a neophyte forager with a well-trained palate, Cook knows best.” —Betty Fussell, author of My Kitchen Wars and Raising Steaks: The Life & Times of American Beef
“Langdon Cook celebrates the bounty of the land and sea through the pleasure of foraging. It’s an inspiration and a reminder that eating your local foods connects you to the land you live on.” —Maria Hines, Chef/Owner, Tilth Restaurant
“In Fat of the Land, Lang Cook invites us to share in his enthusiastic, salubrious, wild food foraging quests. Get out of town, breathe in the fresh air, hear the quiet, exercise, feel good, connect with nature and the season—then return to the kitchen to delicious preparations of dandelion greens, squid, fiddleheads, or whatever the quarry. Lively, informative, soul-satisfying narrative.” —Jon Rowley, Contributing Editor, Gourmet --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from the fascinating local lore--apparently, people 'squid jig' about a mile from my house--what I enjoyed most was Cook's sense of humor about himself. He doesn't pretend to be anything other than an urban male learning through trial and error about the natural world beyond (and often within) the city limits. There's no bluffing or jargon-spewing here: he's always ready to see the ridiculous side of his own adventures, and to appreciate the fecklessness of modern man in the wild.
Overall, a great book for anyone who loves the outdoors but fears the razor-toothed ling and the deadly Amanita phalloides mushroom.
That being said, the writing was underwhelming, and the essays were very short. I couldn't get away from feeling that with a little more detail, or a little more information these essays would have been excellend. I was consistently left feeling that the essay was about 90% done, and that the author couldn't be bothered for more. I hope he was fishing.
I gave three stars wishing I could gave 3.5. Thinking about it, I wish I had found it in a library and not bought it. This made it a 3 rather than a 4.
Langdon Cook is no latter-day Euell Gibbons, and Fat of the Land - Adventures of a 21st Century Forager is no mere Stalking the Wild Asparagus. More than simply a field guide to modern locavory, FotL is a series of witty vignettes that are really about the people and places that have informed his passion - they all just happen to involve the hunt for "foods that don't run away." These are forthright tales of character-building trial and error (smashed shells of many razor clams before hitting limit), of humility at the smallness of men in an unforgiving landscape (and fast tides that fill slow boots with icy water), and thankfully, of hard-won triumphs (even if those triumphs are later rudely stolen in the middle of the night by greedy raccoons and must be re-won the following day). And more than a gatherer of popular and less-loved wild foods alike, Cook is clearly a writer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Practical likemost foraging type books, but reads like a great novel. My most enjoyable book on the subject matter, hands down.Published 4 months ago by august trumm
This is a great book for anyone who has ever been curious about living of the land, especially in the Pacific Northwest.Published 17 months ago by Natalya
Langdon Cook is the best northwest food author writing, thinking and teaching about food and foraging today. Read morePublished 17 months ago by UrbanMonique
Makes you want to go all these places and do all these things--what an adventurer he is!Published 22 months ago by Sarah Sue
Very good reading Wasn't expecting this to read as well as it did Will look for other books by this author ThePublished on April 26, 2014 by Danney Spain
When the apocalypse comes this will be the guy to know. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more plant based foraging. Read morePublished on November 27, 2013 by Missymaam