Food 101

Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Our Edible World by Julia Rothman with help from Rachel Wharton. Storey Publishing, 2016. 9781612123394.

Gene: This is totally the book for you.
Sarah: (laughs)
G: There is so much in here about food and cooking — goodness and drawings and amazing stuff. The part in the beginning that I love so much is where Rothman is talking about how hungry working on the book made her.
S: Oh, yeah?
G: She had to go out and try food. She wants the book to inspire you to experiment with cooking and be more curious about what you’re eating. Chapter one is a timeline of food history that looks like a board game.
S: Oh, yeah.
G: 1700, the Earl of Sandwich, 1686, the croissant is born in Austria. Ice cream cone invented at the St. Louis World’s Fair, 1904. With nice little drawings of everything.
S: I think there were several foods that first appeared in the US at that Word’s Fair, because the fair is where people try out weird new food!
G: First sushi restaurant in America, 1966. In California!
S: Wow! I guess in Seattle back then there were Japanese restaurants, but it was only sukiyaki.
Continue reading “Food 101”

When You’re Too Cheap to Get Zagat’s From the Library

Not One Shrine: Two Food Writers Devour Tokyo by Becky Selengut and Matthew Amster-Burton, illustrated by Denise Sakaki. CreateSpace, 2016. 9781532858604.

notoneshrineTwo funny, food-obsessed friends plan a week in Tokyo. They won’t visit any museums, historical landmarks, or shrines. They are going there to eat.

Becky and Matthew munch on hand-pulled candy and freshly killed eel, visit a robot restaurant, and drink booze served with massive, hand-carved ice spheres. It’s more of a travelogue than a guidebook, but they do provide an online list of everywhere they ate, with tips on vocabulary and getting around in an appendix.

I loved their back-and-forth banter as they alternated stories of where they went. I laughed out loud at their observations more than once.* This is a fun book even if you don’t plan to visit Japan, but totally necessary if you do: you’ve got to eat, so it might as well be amazing.

*Matthew: “The only time I ever use an umbrella is in Japan, because Seattleites consider unfurling an umbrella the equivalent of raising a flag that says BOO HOO I’M MELTING.”