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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant - edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Read for the Foodie Reading Challenge.

This book is a compilation of essays by writers and chefs about either cooking for one, or dining alone. There is an interesting mix of stories, most including some sort of signature recipe.

Many of the stories lean more to the philosophical than being strictly related to the food. In “Instant Noodles”, the author, who is from Thailand, is temporarily brought back to home when he’s a student at Cornell, when he’s able to find Thai instant noodles at a local store. In “Protective Measures”, the author talks about dining alone in the periods of her life when she used it to remind herself that she was important enough to deserve such a thing, even when she was alone.

There are other essays that are more food related. In “The Legend of Salsa Rosa”, the author finds the perfect pasta recipe while studying in Florence, and then finds how hard it is to recreate back in America. “Wild Chili” is about the author’s indulgence for this dish, something that he often must experiment with alone, in order to not kill his loved ones with over-peppery goodness.

All in all, it’s an interesting mix of stories that will definitely make you think about your relationship to food.

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