Three Food/Dining-related Books Worth Reading…

“Born Round: the secret history of a full-time eater”, Frank Bruni

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“Born Round” is a combination biography and “coming out” story by Frank Bruni who did a stint as the primary restaurant critic for the New York Times (Bruni has since moved on to be an openly gay, political columnist for the Times).   His tale offers insights to the struggle between the perceived conflicts between his lust for food and his lust for men.

“Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise”, Ruth Reichl

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Ruth Reichl preceded Bruni as the New York Times restaurant critic and captured an incredible read of her adventures in that job in “Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise”.    In this wonderful, hard-to-put-down book, she shares recipes and insights into the world of a major newspaper restaurant critic.   Her love for food is obvious and it’s fascinating  how restaurant staffs ( as well as co-workers and family) respond differently to the various personas she takes on in her quest to report on how ordinary people fare in the restaurants that she reviews.

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, Michael Pollan

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Several years ago, reading  Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” totally changed my attitudes about what I eat .   Pollan traces the trail of how the foods we buy get in the grocery store.   I found his lessons about what’s wrong with the Midwest paradigm of  “Corn fed beef” and how that has more to do with corporate profits than with a  good steak have lingered in my mind.  While he subsequently has published shorter variations of these themes, what I learned in these  400+ pages was compelling reading and worth every minute.

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