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The Gastronomica Reader

The Gastronomica Reader
From University of California Press

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(4 customer reviews)

Book Description

Described in the 2008 Saveur 100 as “At the top of our bedside reading pile since its inception in 2001,” the award-winning Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture is a quarterly feast of truly exceptional writing on food. Designed both to entertain and to provoke, The Gastronomica Reader now offers a sumptuous sampling from the journal’s pages—including essays, poetry, interviews, memoirs, and an outstanding selection of the artwork that has made Gastronomica so distinctive. In words and images, it takes us around the globe, through time, and into a dazzling array of cultures, investigating topics from early hominid cooking to Third Reich caterers to the Shiite clergy under Ayatollah Khomeini who deemed Iranian caviar fit for consumption under Islamic law. Informed throughout by a keen sense of the pleasures of eating, tasting, and sharing food, The Gastronomica Reader will inspire readers to think seriously, widely, and deeply about what goes onto their plates.

Gastronomica is a winner of the Utne Reader's Independent Press Award for Social/Cultural Coverage

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1214116 in Books
  • Published on: 2010-02-21
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 10.00" h x 1.10" w x 7.75" l, 3.35 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 376 pages

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This collection of articles from Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture will feed the curious and the jaded with an eclectic collection of food-related stories, photos and poems that range from the avant-garde to the mildly outrageous to the titillating and the occasionally ridiculous. This multifaceted presentation, graced with provocative illustrations, includes a profile of a famous restaurateur who became Hitler's caterer, an examination of taboos related to cooking apes, the chronicle of a foodie's colonoscopy, a surprisingly engaging essay regarding "The Legacy of Iceland's Herring Oil and Meal Factories," and an investigation of food pornography (a stretch even for the open-minded); poems include odes to a sexy shallot and a talking potato. More conventional articles consider the traditional New York City egg cream ("Somehow the lack of those two ingredients never bothered customers"), drinking cappuccino along the Spice Trail, and television cooking shows ("the illegitimate love child, or even the prostitute, of the real world of gastronomy"). Putting the "soup to nuts" principal to good use, this volume should absorb anyone with an appetite for unconventional food writing. 64 color and b/w illustrations.


“A volume to browse and absorb.”
(New York Times 2010-03-10)

“This volume should absorb anyone with an appetite for unconventional food writing.” STARRED REVIEW
(Publishers Weekly 2010-02-22)

“It is easy to get quickly drawn in and once you do, it is difficult to put this book down.”
(Andrea Rappaport San Francisco Book Review 2010-05-26)

“Delights in manners ranging from the poetic to the political.”
(Bookforum 2010-03-01)

“The gloriously illustrated Gastronomica reader is a every bit as good as it looks.”
(Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 2010-09-17)

From the Inside Flap

“Rarefied but unpretentious, each issue is an artfully curated collection of essays, poems, art, and journalistic reportage. . . . Gastronomica's fare never fails to nourish us.” —Saveur magazine

“I am so impressed with this journal. It indicates an accuracy and diversity of information and style that will inspire and encourage people to pay attention to what they are eating.”—Alice Waters

“Food, even more than sex, is the basis for human relationships, and if Brillat-Savarin's 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are' is right, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture will enhance your life and improve your relationships with your family and your friends.”—Jacques Pépin

“Gastronomica deserves the food world's attention.” —Paul Levy

“A food journal of high standards that takes on substantive food issues.”—Patricia Unterman

“Interacting with so many disciplines, Gastronomica will assure a fine intellectual menu and reinvigorate the worlds of food and culture with ever higher standards of scholarship.”—Anne Willan

“[One of] my top food favorites from 2008. . . . A delightful study of all things food, even those that touch the world of food in a peripheral way.”—The Zest, food blog

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Best of
By dlee
Great value. The best of the magazine wrapped up in a coffe table book. Engaging essays, great photography.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5I Like It
By Shrimp13
This book is a compendium of articles about food and its importance in our life. Not a recipe or technique book, it is great sit down reading for someone into food.

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
4a coffee table book you will really read
By Sunchine
I know it is somewhat fashionable among certain foodie-types to have Gastronomica visible to all who visit to show how hip and edgy one is. I actually don't know anyone who would care about that part so if you want to know about the actual writing, read on: I like almost all the stories in this book/collection. Most are written in a more documentary/less personal commentary sort of style, with ample research. Most also bring a different perspective to food and eating, which is so much more interesting than the typical "1001 uses for flour you hadn't previously thought of" type of "food writing". If you are the type of person who always wants to know just a little bit more than the average Wiki research trip will give you, get this. The main reason I only give it four stars is that the bulk/style of the printed book is unwieldy because it is designed more as a coffee table book and less as a book one is actually expected to read. But if you get it, read it. Well worth it just for the "huh! I didn't know that!" factor alone.

See all 4 customer reviews...
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