Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History

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Mark Kurlansky
Ballantine Books, 2002 - Cooking - 473 pages
"Every once in awhile a writer of particular skills takes a fresh, seemingly improbable idea and turns out a book of pure delight." That's how David McCullough described Mark Kurlansky's "Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, a work that revealed how a meal can be as important as it is edible. "Salt: A World History, its successor, did the same for a seasoning, and confirmed Kurlansky as one of our most erudite and entertaining food authors. Now, the winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing shares a varied selection of "choice cuts" by others, as he leads us on a mouthwatering culinary tour around the world and through history and culture from the fifth century B.C. to the present day.
"Choice Cuts features more than two hundred pieces, from Cato to Cab Calloway. Here are essays by Plato on the art of cooking . . . Pablo Neruda on french fries . . . Alice B. Toklas on killing a carp . . . M. F. K. Fisher on the virility of Turkish desserts . . . Alexandre Dumas on coffee . . . W. H. Auden on Icelandic food . . . Elizabeth David on the downward march of English pizza . . . Claude Levi-Strauss on "the idea of rotten" . . . James Beard on scrambled eggs . . . Balzac, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Chekhov, and many other famous gourmands and gourmets, accomplished cooks, or just plain ravenous writers on the passions of cuisine.

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User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

Everything about this book is based on one simple subject - food. Kurlansky takes that subject and explores everything having to do with it. From growing, hunting, buying, and preparing to smelling ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vsmoothe - LibraryThing

"Around the world" is really stretching it. The writing here is almost entirely from America and Western Europe. It's just all the usual suspects, things I'd read time and time again. I mean, I ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Mark Kurlansky is a columnist for Food & Wine magazine and is included in Best Food Writing 2000. Winner of the James Beard and Glenfiddich Awards, he is the author of Salt: A World History; The Basque History of the World; the New York Times bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry; A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny; a collection of stories, The White Man in the Tree; and a children's book, The Cod's Tale. He lives in New York City.

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