Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Professional chefs and food writers seem to love this book
on July 22, 2010
I think this is a book people are not neutral about. One either loves it or is left cold by it. Professional chefs and food writers seem to love this book. I found it not that thrilling. I can relate to the reviewer who found it unreadable. One of my favorite food writers, Elisabeth Luard, mentioned this book favorably and I got it with high hopes. For 41 years, I've cooked for my family (ranging from 8 people when we were all at home, to 2 now that I am of retirement age), and I enjoy cooking and eating. I read cookbooks to relax and because I find them interesting. I learn new things and apply them. While I agree that Patience Gray is a good writer and actually cooked, I don't feel empathy for her or her life as she describes it. One reviewer notes that the book includes anthropology, sociology, and botany--not all "everyday" cooks want to wade through such material. I enjoy John Thorne's writing (he also loves Patience Gray's books), but this book just didn't do it for me. How about a little tolerance and the avoidance of ethnic slurs?