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Most Helpful Favorable Review
1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
better than a cookbook
posted by Anonymous on February 20, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
A Writer/Foodie Writes a Memoir...Oh, and She's a Celiac
Unfortunately it is not simply a cookbook with an attached warning sticker: "Written for Foodies", and I'm sure Shuana would argue that's not the point--that the point is we see that food is accessible, and that we should all dine from the world's grand table, with all of it's finest offerings. She's *right*, perhaps we should. But she's delusional, too. Most people who face celiac disease are looking to eat so they don't get sick...not so they spend more $$ to eat "well", which is entirely subjective. Most of us aren't 150 yards from the fresh fish market like she is, and most of us are working families who see a movie out with the kids as a splurge....so um...'no'...we probably don't want to go out and buy pomegranite molasses.
On Shauna's list: "The Top Ten Noble Tastes" there is no reference to the "other grains" considered staples in most kitchens, and a lifeline for many celiacs. Really (and I mean really) expensive vinegars and oils, but no sustenance staples upon which the average celiac would rely, and would have rather seen listed here.
Don't get me wrong--Shauna is an excellent writer....but her book lacks any real substance, and she sends mixed messages....such as using highly negative descriptive words for the foods from her past----foods she admits to having loved and wolfed down with gusto----and highly seductive and beautiful imagery for the "new foods".....and then using those same positive descriptives for a hot dog (when she finally breaks down and starts eating meat again) at a NYC outdoor vendor....even though that kind of food would have fallen into the "bad food" category if it had been from her hometown. She arbitrarily decides for us what food falls into the praiseworthy category, and what foods do not belong, and when she's critical---boy is she ever critical! She purposefully overdramatizes to get her points across and in doing so makes her parents out to sound like unstable people who practically poisoned her, despite the fact that she went willingly. They are just as innocent as she was, in other words. It also seems cruel that she would use this forum to discuss a very personal private hell her mother endured surrounding agoraphobia. That's not what human beings should do do each other, much less family.
The tone of the book is summed up on page 53, wherein Shauna admits "....Two kids raised to believe that they should be different than most people (translation: smarter and more educated)..."
A bit of an alienating read...which is a total shame because if she had taken certain unnecessary personal bits (her ego clearly sat on top of her computer staring at her as she hacked this one out) out of it the book would have been superb.
posted by 887497 on January 24, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 7, 2007
treasure your food
Most of you can see by the numerous favorable responses that this book has a profound message to deliver. Reading through the few distasteful reviews, they obviously did not understand its biggest concept. When you honor your body with the best foods possible, it honors you back and stimulates your intellectual senses. You feel whole, present and alive. This is what the author wants to share with you. Her candid and remarkable descriptions of food accurately portray the very essence of nutrition and nurturing yourself. No two experiences will be the same, but her emotional connections with locally grown produce, so much so that she can taste the entire growth history, leaves me craving food with character instead of chemical processes. To deny the accessibility to the marvelous suggested edibles in this book means you aren't looking hard enough. You may not have heard of these foods, but within our current boundless marketplace, you have access to so much more than what your large grocery chain carries. In fact, the best advice from this book is to go explore those small, local businesses and farmers markets that are treasures waiting to be found. And for one critic to say your children won't like exotic tastes is very close-minded. On the contrary, the best thing you can ever do for your children is to expose them to as much of life and new things as possible, whether it's food, people, cultures or beliefs. To serve them mac and cheese from a box repeatedly just because they ask for it is dishonoring their self-understanding and perception of life. The only reason I cannot give this book five stars is for repeated information that could have been easily edited out. I found it an interesting contrast that when reading a blog, having information repeated from post to post is not as tiresome. But in printed book form my expectations change and I don't need to read it again, even between a day's pause. I find this an intriguing variance in our fast- paced society where information is constantly being thrown at us and quickly forgotten or discarded. Maybe it's the nature of the medium and the stand-alone quality of a blog post. I easily forgave this due to the restricted timeline the author was put under and the importance of the facts being delivered. Uniquely written so that an avid reader of her blog is not fatigued, her stories and accounts are for you to relate and question your connections to food and life. They are her own accounts and artistry, not for you to precisely replicate. I found them inspiring enough to take a new look at my entire life, not just when I sit down at the dinner table. I read her blog regularly and find it resets my reasonings and judgments on the world to be more kind and understanding instead of knotted up in unloving reactions. Loving is the key to happiness and this book embellishes how food is an essential part of that. As she often quotes from Rumi, 'Everything has to do with loving and not loving.' Maybe that's a dose of something we should all consume daily.
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