8 Booklist September 15, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
the centuries. Chapters follow pregnancy from
conception through birth, addressing varied
topics including fertility, efforts to choose and
predict gender, and labor. Schaffir examines
research from throughout the centuries and
puts specific studies into historical context.
His years as an obstetrician and educator have
given him insight into the tales that continue
to persist despite decades of medical advancement. Throughout the book, Schaffir’s tone is
approachable and compassionate towards expectant and hopeful parents. He is well versed
in folktales from multiple cultures and world
regions. Given that folklore about pregnancy
and birth remains prevalent while other outdated medical advice has been left behind,
What to Believe When You’re Expecting is a fascinating look at beliefs and stories for parents
and nonparents alike. —Laura Chanoux
Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s
Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent
By Kelley Fanto Deetz.
Nov. 2017. 182p. illus. Univ. Press of Kentucky, $29.95
Aunt Jemima syrup and Uncle Ben’s rice reinforce imagery of friendly black cooks, which
teenth centuries. The very architecture of the
white elite’s preferred Georgian-style mansion
replicated in the landscape the separation, control, and power needed to enact enslavement.
Kitchens were liminal spaces apart from main
houses, which were semipublic entertainment
venues. As abolitionist thinking took root,
homes evolved to include covered walkways
and dumbwaiters, keeping black people hidden while they created meals for white people.
Herself a former cook, Deetz ensures her
readers understand the significant intellect,
physical strength, endurance, and capabilities required for enslaved cooks to produce
four meals per day from scratch in hot, open-hearth kitchens while under the constant
threat of psychological abuse and violence.
Scholarly yet readable, Deetz’s book honors
these American ancestors by reclaiming their
rightful places and stories. —Emily Dziuban
The Chicago Food Encyclopedia.
Ed. by Carol Mighton Haddix and others.
Sept. 2017. 352p. illus. Univ. of Illinois, paper, $34.95
(9780252087240); e-book (9780252099779). 664.00973.
Chicago introduced the culinary world to
some internationally renowned foods: deep-
dish pizza, jibaritos, brownies, and many
more. Chicago’s central location made it for
a time the nation’s greatest manufacturer
of foodstuffs as well as its most prodigious
processor and distributor of all things bo-
vine and porcine. The city also projects a
food attitude: “cheezborger, cheezborger.” In
today’s era of foodies and destination restau-
rants, Chicago takes second place to none,
as luminaries on the order of Jean Banchet,
Charlie Trotter, Grant Achatz, and Rick
Bayless launched a gastronomic revolution.
Compiling a history and biography of Chi-
cago’s sprawling food scene calls for deep and
broad knowledge, and the authors of this al-
phabetic guide to Chicago food history have
wound together disparate strands to form as
comprehensive a guide as can be expected.
Of course, some names and institutions have
been perforce overlooked, but all the indis-
pensably important information is here to be
savored. —Mark Knoblauch
Craft Coffee: A Manual.
By Jessica Easto and Andreas
Nov. 2017. 272p. illus. Agate, $19.95 (9781572842335).
Easto’s manual for coffee enthusiasts goes
beyond mere brew guide to pull back the
curtain on the bean itself, coffee processing
and roasting, and industry
jargon—we’re on to you,
tattooed barista. As the
title indicates, the book
is devoted to knowledgeably making “craft coffee”
at home, a term coined to
reflect the values of the
third-wave coffee movement, which focuses on the coffee bean’s
unique flavors, ethical production, and
connection to independent coffee roasters.
Consulting with Willhoff, director of education for Halfwit Coffee Roasters, Easto offers
a thorough overview of coffee that is never
elitist in tone, emphasizing that individual
taste should always be one’s guide. That said,
this is for people who want to level up their
coffee game, which means buying high-quality beans and ditching the countertop
coffee maker for one of the 10 manual brew
methods detailed in the book’s pages. Divided into two main categories, immersion and
pour over, Craft Coffee walks readers through
the equipment, measurements, and brewing
technique for each device, accompanied by a
description of the “cup” it produces. A few
of the methods covered are the French press,
AeroPress, Chemex, Hario V60, and Bee-House dripper. Sections are also dedicated
to understanding different coffee-growing
regions, expanding one’s palate, deciphering the bag’s label, and troubleshooting one’s
brew. Clearly written and comprehensive,
this book belongs in every home barista’s
tool kit. —Julia Smith
Fasting and Feasting: The Life of
Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray.
By Adam Federman.
Sept. 2017. 384p. illus. Chelsea Green, $28
Patience Gray is one of the most important
food writers you’ve never heard of. Long before she published Honey from a Weed (1986),
her most enduring work,
Gray endured hunger in the
margins of society in London, during the lean times
of both world wars, and consequently, in the kitchen,
her methods were simple yet
beautifully tied to nature,
poetry, and art. She traveled
extensively, eventually making a life in the
Italian countryside. Three decades were spent
in rough, remote Puglia without running water, refrigeration, or other modern niceties. It
was in this far-flung place that Gray would
write that iconic piece of culinary history. The
title was celebrated at the time, but for today’s
local food fanatics, it’s venerated. Gray’s work
was cookbook poetry, steeped in Mediterranean lore, with recipes hearkening back to
Virgil. Even her indexes became legendary.
Her life made her as much a maverick as her
culinary writing. Investigative environmental-and food-journalist Federman’s biography will
attract today’s farm-to-table enthusiasts, and
tells a little-known story of someone who was
eons ahead of her time. —Andie Paloutzian
Ham: A Savor the South Cookbook.
By Damon Lee Fowler.
Sept. 2017. 152p. Univ. of North Carolina, $20
It’s virtually impossible to imagine southern
cooking without ham. Its smoky, salty essence adds so much dimension to whatever it
accompanies. Today’s supermarket hams, injected with water and gleaned from industrially
raised pigs, are a far cry from artisanal hams so
prized by gourmets and discriminating chefs;
nevertheless, glazed and studded with cloves,
these hunks of rosy meat sit gloriously at the
center of many a holiday table. Fowler presents dozens of recipes for ham, both traditional
and contemporary. He outlines the differences
between wet and dry curing and the contrasts
in the resulting product. Recipes range from
simple ham and eggs (perhaps not so simple
as it sounds if it is to be excellent) through
ham salads, ham breads, and ham casseroles.
Fowler takes the ham-and-cheese sandwich to
its apotheosis in the French croque monsieur.
Libraries who own the earlier volumes in the
Savor the South series will want to add this one
as well. —Mark Knoblauch
Istanbul & Beyond: Exploring the Diverse
Cuisines of Turkey.
By Robyn Eckhardt.
Oct. 2017. 352p. illus. HMH, $35 (9780544444317);
e-book (9780544444348). 641.59561.
Visitors to Istanbul have long marveled over
the sophistication and sheer delights of Turk-