Wednesday, August 15, 2012


It's midsummer and for some of us that translates into a burst of activity - packing for or unpacking from a trip, getting children settled into the new school year - all conspiring to shorten our time for reading.

So, if you're looking for a quick read, Eat, Memory Great Writers at the Table by Amanda Hesser fits the bill, or, more accurately, provides a most interesting bill of fare. Think of this slim volume as literary tapas.  You can sample a few bites at a time or devour them all at one sitting.
Amanda Hesser started her Eat, Memory column when she became food editor at the New York Times in 2004. Well-known writers, journalists, novelists, playwrights and poets were asked to write short essays about important moments in their lives that involved food. This book has culled 26 of these experiences, complete with recipes.

You'll shadow Vanity Fair writer Henry Alford as he discovers the intoxicating properties of orange blossom oil in a spice market in Morocco. You'll commiserate with playwright Jon Bartz, stuck in Durban, South Africa  as a teenager and chowing down red hot Indian curries at a run-down country club next to the Indian Ocean while continually craving familiar L. A. drive-through delights. Wander down small country roads in Southern France with novelist James Salter, Michelin guide in hand and experience a fabulous dessert. Re-visit the impoverished Southern childhood of Dorothy Allison where gravy was king or stay north in Queens with Gary Shteyngart obsessing about all things garlic. Spend time with travel writer Pico Iyer, who, while living in Japan, eschewed sublime sushi and sashimi, preferring English cuisine from a convenience store called Lawsons that cleverly put a Japanese twist on his familiar choices.

Bon App├ętit!


Hungry for more?  You'll want to check out other titles by Amanda Hesser in the library's collection.
Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant:  confesssions of cooking for one and dining alone
Cooking for Mr. Latte: a food lover's courtships with recipes and
The Essential New York Times Cookbook:  classic recipes for a new century

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