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Cooked

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COOKED: A NATURAL HISTORY OF TRANSFORMATION by Michael Pollan

Cooked

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
8358
publisher:
Penguin
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Equal parts memoir, cookbook, and foodie dissertation, Michael Pollan’s Cooked provides a dazzling amount of food for thought — or more precisely, thought for food. The author, who became a poster boy for the responsible-eating movement with 2006’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, now argues that the simple task of preparing food may be nothing less than the secret of our evolution from primates — not to mention our best hope in the ongoing battle against obesity and poor nutrition. Pollan is a little pedantic at times: His lessons on umami and fermentation are old hat for gourmands, and his highbrower-than-thou citations (Hesiod, Lévi-Strauss et al.) can irk. But the book’s surplus of fascinating tidbits — about everything from barbecue (which Pollan connects to ritual animal sacrifice) to the mysterious workings of bread yeast — makes it a feast for intellectual omnivores. B+

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