larly Ireland; and how the potato famine
led to the foundation of the science of plant
pathology. One entry documents how the
consumption of tea and spices fostered glob-
al exploration, and another how citrus fruits
led to the prevention of scurvy. Perhaps most
important, this book enables readers to grasp
the connections between the history of foods
and the Columbian Exchange, the wide-
spread transfer of animals, plants, culture,
human populations, technology, and ideas
between the American and Afro-Eurasian
hemispheres in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, related to European colonization
With broad, easy-to-read coverage, this
well-written resource is recommended for
high-school students and undergraduates as
well as the general public interested in the relationship of the history of food to culture.
YA/C: This is an accessible volume for
students studying world history. RV.
Good Cheap Eats: Dinner in 30 Minutes
By Jessica Fisher.
2015. 320p. illus. Harvard Common, paper, $17.95
Blogger Fisher (Life as Mom, and Good
Cheap Eats) knows how to feed a family with
quick, healthy, and easy-to-prepare dishes.
And she has packed this book with some 200
recipes that do just that. Looking to wow
dinner-party guests? This might not be your
go-to reference. But if you want to nourish
your kids with chicken-noodle soup, pork
chops smothered in onions, or crispy sage
chicken strips, this is a perfect choice. Fisher
offers up an assortment of mix-and-match
two-course dinners as well as dozens of timesaving tips for make-ahead dishes. She also
devotes a whole chapter to desserts that can
be prepped while dinner’s cooking. This book
likely won’t make you a five-star chef, but it’ll
no doubt make you the star of your own dinner table. —Heather Lalley
Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from
a Lifelong Romance with Food.
By Joanne Weir.
2015. 288p. illus. Oxmoor, $35 (9780848746032). 641.
This is a fascinating tribute to a life surrounded by the best in food, wine, and
travel, with a foreword by Alice Waters of Chez
Panisse. Author, restaurateur, and teacher,
Weir takes readers through compelling stories, from growing up to opening and owning
Copita. Every recipe—100 of them—is woven around not just an anecdote but also the
larger world of her existence. Her baking time
spent with Mom reminds her of how much
she wanted store-bought sandwich cookies,
not homemade whoopie pies; or memories of
her time as a junior-high-school art teacher
in Boston enjoying arroz con pollo. An unlucky dead fly in a bottle of Château Mouton
Rothschild, when mailed to the company,
results in a career-changing lunch in France,
Books about food aren’t limited to traditional cookbooks, as hown by this splendid array of books about food, reviewed
in Booklist from October 1, 2014, to September 15, 2015.
America—Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating
Local Farmers. By Mario Batali and Jim Webster. 2014. Grand
Central, $35 (9781455584680).
It’s hard to decide which sections of Batali’s latest cookbook (his tenth) are more seductive. But it really doesn’t matter. Just know that this book presents a great opportunity
to learn and to cook.
The Baking Bible. By Rose Levy Beranbaum. 2014. Houghton, $49 (9781118338612).
Whether you’re making Mango Bango Cheesecake, Sugar Rose Brioche, or Sour Cherry Pie, Beranbaum has set readers up for blue ribbons with this all-encompassing guide.
Brunch at Bobby’s. By Bobby Flay. 2015. Clarkson Potter, $29.99 (9780385345897).
Celebrity chef Flay departs from his tradition—grilling and all things southern—to
branch out into brunch, offering 140 reasons to look forward to Sunday.
The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History. By Ana Sofia Pelaez and
Ellen Silverman. 2014. St. Martin’s, $35 (9781250036087); e-book (9781466857537).
Cuban food is rich in flavor and history, and this home-cooking-focused Cuban-cuisine
primer doesn’t skimp on either. Each of the more than 100 recipes, from baked goods to
soups to main dishes as well as desserts and cocktails, is preceded by an anecdote about
The Gluten-Free Revolution: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know about Losing the
Wheat. By Jax Peters Lowell. 2015. Holt, paper, $28 (9780805099539).
In this chatty, funny, and practical guide for the growing legion of gluten-free eaters, the
popular author of The Gluten-Free Bible (2005) returns with more advice on how to live
How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food. By Mark Bittman.
2014. Wiley, $35 (9780470936306).
Serious cooks may extol the thoughtful deliberateness of the slow-food movement,
but most people with a daily responsibility to get dinner on the table more often than not
bow to time constraints. This compendium of speedy recipes is the answer.
Indian for Everyone: The Home Cook’s Guide to Traditional Favorites. By Anupy Singla.
2014. Surrey, $35 (9781572841628).
Singla’s third book features flexible recipes that can be prepared for a variety of dietary
requests; she also educates readers about common Indian spices, lentils and beans, and
Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. By Marcus Samuelsson and Roy Fina-more. 2014. Houghton, $35 (9780470940587).
This celebrity chef has mastered a world of cuisines, moving with gusto from Sweden
to Ethiopia to all of Africa. Now he offers a glimpse of what he loves to cook for himself
when he’s cozily at home with family.
My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. By Ruth Reichl. 2015. Random, $35
Gourmet has folded but not the magazine’s now-former editor Reichl, who offers seasonally ordered recipes she prepared during those very dark days as she contemplated
My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Special. By Alice Waters.
2015. Ten Speed, $24.99 (9780804185288); e-book (9780804185295).
Although she is one of America’s best-known chefs, Waters has to go home and cook
her own meals from time to time. So, like any intelligent cook, she has learned to have
a battery of ingredients on hand with which to flavor whatever fresh ingredients she has
picked up from the market.
TOP 10 FOOD BOOKS