This week in Omnivorous I ran down a half dozen of my favorite new food books. Here are some more new releases of note:
THE SPLENDID TABLE’S HOW TO EAT SUPPER, Lynne Rosetto-Kasper and Sally Sweet (Clarkson Potter, $35) The Guffawing Grandmarm of NPR’s syndicated food show, along with her producer, present a companion cookbook for beginners who want someone a little more sophisticated than Rachael Ray as a sensei. Regular listeners will recognize much of the background information but may be put off by the admitted “hand holding.”
THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed Press, $35) The British food writer, TV personality, and back-to-the-lander has become a cottage industry for DIY food production. Here are clear, precise instructions for everything from gardening to sausage making to choosing a cow to cleaning cuttlefish in the loo.
THE END OF FOOD, Paul Roberts (Houghton Mifflin, $26) Grim, sobering analysis of the widening fissures in the global food system: “Ironically, the problems with the modern food system begin with its very success.” This is something you should probably read, but won’t have fun doing it.
EVERYDAY DRINKING: THE DISTILLED KINGSLEY AMIS, Kingsley Amis (Bloomsbury, $19.99) Compilation of the late, great English satirist’s two volumes on the “drinking arts.” Here he is on one of the basic jobs of British vodka: “. . . to replace gin in established gin drinks for the benefit of those rather second-rate persons who don’t like the taste of gin, or indeed that of drink in general.” The introduction is by another eloquent British lush, Christopher Hitchens.
BEYOND THE GREAT WALL: RECIPES AND TRAVEL IN THE OTHER CHINA, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid (Artisan, $40) Beautiful coffeetable cookbook and travelogue on China’s underexposed outlying regions and minority populations. Recipes are as varied and intriguing as Kazakh noodles, Uighur pastries with pea tendrils, and Tibetan bone broth.