March 15, 2017 Booklist 11 www.booklistonline.com
based Feed Me Phoebe. Dessert on the brain?
Head for tahini blondies from Atlanta-based
I Will Not Eat Oysters or chamomile-poached
plums from Italy’s Hortus Cuisine. Recipe
headnotes by the bloggers and quick Q&As
with each one add a taste of the blog itself.
Altogether, much like an amuse-bouche,
the book will leave readers hungry for more
from this next generation of food voices.
—Alison Neumer Lara
Eat the Beetles! An Exploration into Our
Conflicted Relationship with Insects.
By David Waltner-Toews.
May 2017. 368p. ECW, paper, $16.95 (9781770413146).
Epidemiologist Waltner-Toews (Food, Sex
and Salmonella, 2008; The Origin of Feces,
2013) writes about humans’ complex relationship with bugs, specifically beetles.
With humor and curiosity, he cites numerous references, newspaper articles, statistics,
and scientific reports to craft the narrative
that we may need to rethink that relationship and see insects as even more than a
“sustainable source of protein.” Waltner-Toews draws on various examples, from
literature and natural history, of people’s
interactions with insects and reflects on his
own encounters with beetles around the
globe. Along the way, he shares his detailed
thoughts on why entomophagy—eating
bugs—can be a central key to the survival
of our civilization. This will inform and fascinate readers of food history, gastronomy,
epidemiology, and ecology, as we begin to
understand more about the lives of insects
and the important roles they play in our society. —Raymond Pun
The Potlikker Papers: A Food
History of the Modern South.
By John T. Edge.
May 2017. 384p. illus. Penguin, $28 (9781594206559).
Edge, director of the Southern Food-
ways Alliance, compellingly tells the story
of the rise of Southern cooking. He attri-
butes Southern cuisine’s
roots to the region’s twin
scourges of poverty and
racism and credits the
leading virtues of South-
ern cooking to the many
African Americans whose
shaping of traditions was
for so many decades either
ignored or outright suppressed. Martin Lu-
ther King Jr. and Rosa Parks may have been
the nascent civil-rights revolution’s public
faces, but Montgomery’s Georgia Gilmore
sustained the marchers on their way with
her good food. Later, the back-to-the-soil
movement made farming organic, sustain-
able, and popular. Kentucky Fried Chicken
conquered the fast-food world, even though
the Colonel himself expressed grave doubts
about its industrial quality. Southern-born
Craig Claiborne used his pulpit at the New
York Times to foster the 1960s’ foodie revo-
lution. Thanks in part to celebrity television
chefs, New Orleans became the country’s
fashionable foodie capital. Edge’s research
and command of prose make this a necessary
history. —Mark Knoblauch
A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food
and Life from the Roving Gourmand.
By Jim Harrison.
Mar. 2017. 288p. Grove, $25 (9780802126467). 641.3.
Poet and novelist Harrison’s food writing
was previously collected in The Raw and the
Cooked (2001), and most of the nearly 50
pieces gathered in this new collection, published on the one-year anniversary of the
author’s death, were written since then. First
appearing in Brick, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, and other publications, the mostly
short essays share a stream-of-consciousness,
unedited, uncensored approach and touch
on travel, politics, literature, art, sex, writing, and the author’s health nearly as much
as they do food. And on all of the above,
his playful quotability is boundless: tofu is
a “gustatory self-laceration,” drinking is “the
writer’s black lung disease,” and if you shared
a bottle of Cayron “before the usual obnoxious meeting you wouldn’t hate anyone.”
Battling painful illness, he writes, “Of course
we are loaned this life, then suddenly one
day it’s overdue.” With an introduction from
Harrison’s longtime friend Mario Batali, this
makes a great addition to popular food and
wine collections and will be a savory treat for
Harrison fans. —Annie Bostrom
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the
Elements of Good Cooking.
By Samin Nosrat.
Apr. 2017. 464p. illus. Simon & Schuster, $28
(9781476753836); e-book (9781476753850). 641.5.
As Nosrat understands, the elements of
good cooking couldn’t be simpler. Success in
the kitchen depends on
just four elements: salt,
fat, acid, and heat. Any
dish that doesn’t provide a punch of hearty
flavor may be improved
by adding good salt—
not just any salt, but a
particular salt appropriate to the task. Pasta needs kosher salt in
the cooking water, but steamed vegetables
profit from a sprinkling of flaky salt. Fat,
be it extra-virgin olive oil or fresh butter,
adds satisfying mouthfeel. Acids alter foods’
textures and brighten flavors. Applying heat
correctly makes all the difference. High
heat sears a steak, but gentle heat yields the
tenderest scrambled eggs. Trained at famed
Chez Panisse, Nosrat lays out the science of
cooking, but only insofar as it enhances flavors and creates gastronomic art. Culinary
students and serious home cooks can discover from both text and drawings how to
succeed through fundamentals of their craft.
The Art and Invention of Max Fleischer:
American Animation Pioneer.
By Ray Pointer.
Mar. 2017. 245p. illus. McFarland, $39.95
The animated cartoon did not spring
fully formed from the mind of Walt Disney. It took several industry innovators
to develop the processes and equipment
needed to produce this popular form of entertainment. One of them was Max Fleischer
(1883–1972), inventor of the Rotoscope
technique, in which animation was traced
frame by frame over live-action film footage. Pointer’s account of Fleischer’s life and
work draws on his own experience in film
and animation as well as interviews with
Fleischer family members. It is also stocked
with previously unpublished photographs
and artwork, including trade ads and patent
diagrams. Unlike Walt Disney’s cheerfully
naturalistic cartoons, Fleischer’s creations
are a little dark, almost edgy, and have been
described as reminiscent of German expressionism and even surrealism. In Fleischer’s
own words, “If it can be done in real life,
it ain’t animation.” Among the memorable
cartoon characters to emerge from the inkwells of Fleischer Studios were Betty Boop,
Popeye, and Olive Oyl. The story of this art-ist-inventor and the early days of animation
will appeal to all interested in film history
and iconic cartoons. —Carolyn Mulac
Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and
Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles.
By William McKeen.
Apr. 2017. 432p. Chicago Review, $26.99
Home to Hollywood scandals, tabloid murders, and surf music, Los Angeles, writes
McKeen, “was the promised land and a
pathetic and brutal place.” As the 1960s
dawned, teenagers cruised in cars, listening
to the Beach Boys. Soon, folk artists Jim Mc-Guinn and Gene Clark discovered a shared
love for the Beatles, and, with the help of
Terry Melcher, released an electric version of
Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” launching
the new folk-rock genre. Then visionary Brian
Wilson expanded the “boundaries of popular
music within the narrow confines of the dictates of the music industry” with Pet Sounds.
Suddenly, “It seemed that everyone with a
guitar converged on Los Angeles.” The Mamas and the Papas, the Doors, David Crosby,
Joni Mitchell, and Bobby Fuller all appeared,
creating an artistic, affluent, and debauched
community. Add the fresh-out-of-prison
Charles Manson, who, hoping for a Beatle,
found himself a Beach Boy in the guise of
drummer Dennis Wilson. Using a synthesis of
memoirs and biographies, McKeen creates a
sprawling, entertaining, and sometimes lurid,
narrative about artists who, bursting with creative energy, converged in L.A. —Ben Segedin