Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Review: Mmmm: A Feastiary

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Mmmm: A Feastiary
Author: Ruth Reichl

Author's web site:

Date: 1972
Publisher: Holt Rinehart & Winston
ISBN: 0-03-091888-X
Length: 192 pages
Illustrations: black-and-white photos and drawings
Quote: “To do penance on their way to the shrine of St. James of Compostella, pilgrims would eat scallops and tie the shells to their clothing...I only wish someone would make me do the penance of eating Coquilles St Jacques (Shells of St. James).”
In the long run Ruth Reichl’s recipes, which are pretty mainstream, didn’t sell as well as the quirkier (often vegan) recipe collections from Bloodroot, Moosewood, or Laurel’s Kitchen. However, this is another nostalgic hippie cookbook, not really subversive but likely to encourage people to buy more raw, local, possibly organic produce. I’m not inclined to eat scallops even as a penance, but some of the other recipes in this book are pretty good.

Using this cookbook will help you feed friends who aren’t terribly trendy or adventurous, who probably eat prepackaged foods at home often enough to appreciate the fresher taste of your home-cooked versions.

I could probably have thought of more good things to say about this book if I'd posted this review and checked out the Amazon price before selling the copy about which this review was written. The best price Amazon is offering on this vintage hardcover cookbook is $340. I sold my copy for fifty cents. I'm disgustipated!

Ruth Reichl is still alive, writing, and cooking, and you can find a sample recipe free of charge or buy her newer books at the web page linked above. And if somebody out there really wants to support writers, enough to pay me $345 for the book + $5 for shipping, Ruth Reichl or a charity of her choice will indeed receive $35.