Sunday, November 18, 2007

Three More

All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House
Roland Mesnier

If reading elaborate descriptions of desserts served at state dinners is your thing, this is your book. I was particularly intrigued by the author's collection of ice cream molds and found the photos in that department rather lacking. In fact, what I missed most about this book were photos, because they were few, and my mind couldn't keep up with the lists of ingredients and components of each dessert creation. I also wonder if some of the stiffness of the language was a consequence of translation. While I laughed, it was more about the situations and less about the language. The vignettes were inconsistent in their degree of connectedness and humor and my mind wandered quite a lot while reading. I did however, find myself consistently craving pastries.

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Steve Almond

Oh happiness! I never knew candies were so regional. I read this right before Halloween to get in the spirit of the holiday. I also bought no Halloween candy this year, which probably would be a great disappointment to the author if he knew, since his devotion to candy is so complete and all consuming. I loved this book, down to its size and shape, the funny lettering on its spine, but mostly, because the talk was of enrobers and factory tours and sometimes awful sounding candies, but it's a story with both humor and heart.

Kitchen Con: Writing on the Restaurant Racket
Trevor White

Why did I read this entire book? Within fifty pages I realized that if I finished the book it would be out of some sense of inertia. There was no argument at all, or alternately too many arguments. Just when I thought I'd toss the book away something fun would appear, but mostly this is a tame read with little in the way of humor and much in the way of choppy language. I should have judged this book by its cover.


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