Friday, 14 January 2011

Foodie books

I picked up Clarissa Dickson Wright's memoir, Spilling the Beans for 50p at a Christmas Fair, as I was intrigued to read about her connection with the Books for Cooks bookshop in London. The whole of her life story is fascinating read, even the tale of her descent into alcoholism. I had picked up snippets of her story from watching the Two Fat Ladies cooking programmes and bits of reading, but the story straight from the horse's mouth is obviously more revealing and more interesting.
Another book about food which I gathered on a library swoop just before Christmas was The Foodie Handbook: The (Almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy by Pim Techamuanvivit. The author writes a food blog, Chez Pim, which is quite interesting, although somewhat American in recipe detail. The book does include recipes as well as all sorts of advice on how to eat, drink, cook and be a 'foodie'. Some of the recipes reveal the author's Thai background, but as ingrediants for Thai cooking are now more easily available everywhere, there is no problem sourcing them. The tone of the writing is chatty and friendly and the photographs are lovely, although not every recipe is illustrated. Although Pim is US based, her foodie recomendations have a world wide spread and appeal.
It's not the first foodie handbook I've read: in the mid 1980's Ann Barr and Paul Levy produced the Official Foodie Handbook, which although I haven't read it since then I seem to recall as being somewhat more dictatorial as to what to eat and drink to be considered a foodie.

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