Tuesday, September 2, 2008
How to be a Better Foodie; A Bulging Little Book for the Truly Epicurious by Sudi Pigott
Hi friends! If you have not seen this latest "foodie book" to grace bookstore shelves from the US to the UK, you just might be looking for it after I share this latest review with you. Jessica at Penguin Books sent this remarkable little book to me. When I first saw it was over 300 pages, I could not imagine how much I did not know! But alas, Sudi Pigott got her title absolutely right, "How To Be a Better Foodie; A Bulging Little Book for the Truly Epicurious" is filled to the brim with facts and foodie-essentials which make anyone who is interested in culinary particulars marvel at the amount of text in this book!
I consider myself to be an amateur foodie. Meaning, I know I like "good food" and perhaps my tastes have become slightly more upscale over the years from my magazine subscriptions to Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Chocolatier and my endless accrual of cookbooks which have required additional purchases of furniture (covered on page 73). According to the "What Kind of Foodie Are You?" quiz at the beginning of this delightful book, I seem to have a fastidious dedication to culinary nirvana... or at least I must try to keep a sense of humor about that! I really do enjoy "good food" and by good food I mean satisfying, comforting food, which reminds me of happy times spent with those dearest to me. There is nothing quite as pleasurable for me than making a cocktail, an appetizer, a meal, a dessert, or something another person will consume when they come to my home; then seeing true enjoyment come from that event. Cooking has always been a way in which I express myself and to know it is well received and appreciated makes it so much more fun for me to continue doing.
When I opened the parcel from Jessica, my initial reaction was "What a darling book!" The size and shape reminded me of a little diary which might hold some super "foodie-top-secrets" I did not yet know but which Sudi was waiting to share with only me. The pages are thick chocolate brown and bubble gum pink with absolutely precious graphics in a buttercream white which reminded me of children's storybooks from the 1950's. The color combination of the pages are one of my favorites, so aesthetically it was a joy to behold. I could not wait to dive in and find out "How To Be a Better Foodie"
When I read a book, one of my favorite parts is the introduction from the author. You get a few pages of insight into why they have chosen to write on this particular subject. I have no doubt Sudi Pigott loves what she does! I could actually relate to her initial "foodietude" she developed in her childhood from licking a spoon from a maple walnut sponge cake bowl. Her enthusiastic interest in food leaps off the pages in this "Bulging Little Book for the Truly Epicurious" - there is a bit of self deprecating humor slipped in between her knowledge but she shares her joy of food with the pleasure you would have in finding your favorite childhood dish at an upscale East side restaurant.
I must warn you, as you flip through the pages, you might be tempted to tab them up with Post-it notes since there are many point of interest and so many new ways to declare yourself a better foodie! I had no idea I was so gauche! I did, however, enjoy seeing the list of condiments, oils and vinegars and proud as even an amateur foodie, my pantry contained quite a few from the list!
The book contains quirky foodie habits which hard-core foodies can relate to and amateur foodies can esteem to. There were some areas of which I could not understand, simply because I am not accustomed to some of the foods Ms. Pigott clearly has passion and expertise in. I have no doubt food is something she dives into with hedonistic abandon and if you are looking for ways to expand your palette, get this book!
I enjoyed tremendously the way Sudi took every day aspects such as pets, fashion, shopping, movies, and dining to name a few and expressed how "foodietude" encompasses and relates to each. As someone who has a cupcake website and love for all things cupcake, I am distracted by anything cake related in small proportions! I did learn what a langoustine is (a marine crustacean which looks a little like a miniature lobster and a lot like the river dwelling crayfish. It can grow up to a foot in length and is prized for its delicious tail meat. Smaller langoustines have their upper parts discarded and their tails used for scampi. Larger langoustines are sold to be cooked whole. They are a common feature in the traditional French bistro seafood platter and a very important element in Spanish cuisine.)
I said earlier I felt like I was given a diary filled with lots of secrets and a wealth of gastronomic knowledge. This book, to me, reflects many years of Ms. Pigott's culinary travels and epicurian delights. It is full of thoughtful observations, experiences and a truly epicurious point of view. At times it made me scratch my head and crinkle my nose, but trust me when I tell you, it holds up to its title. This book is bulging with information about EVERYTHING foodie related. I feel smarter and more educated because I know about La Gran Festa De La Calcotada in Catalonia (Spain) is a festival held on the last Sunday in January for a variety of exceptionally long scallions; which can be found in the Foodie Almanac. Not to be a spoiler, but there are fantastic Foodie Pilgrimages to plan on around the world and even Foodie Stocking Stuffers!
With all this foodie "stuff" I have listed, I hope you will check out this little book. It is a fun read, you can open it at any point and find something different. If you get anything out of it... just think how sharp your gastro-credentials will be and all of the Trivial Pursuit questions you will get right!