Ah, books about food!
I originally picked up this book of short stories with the plan to cook some of the food mentioned in this book- and there’s some good stuff. It’s a real food learning experience in the making.
But then I realized I’d have to clean up the mess so I figured I’d settle for reading about the food.
Overall I enjoyed the collection. There is some magic throughout the book and not just involving food. On Hungry Hearts Row you can find ghosts, grief, death, acceptance, pride and love. Also there is one story that particularly stood out. It wasn’t bad but I read it like… “Are we talking about human sacrifice here? Yep. Yep, guess we are.”
The stories are interconnected in large part by Pandaría about magic pastries that can help people which was definitely my favorite. There’s another story (The Grand Ishq Adventure) that features a challenge to eat alone in a different restaurant that I have been planning on trying.
Ruby Tandoh was a controversial contestant on Great British Bake-Off and naturally me being me I enjoyed her. I read some of her food columns on line and was interested in this book.
It has recipes but it’s much more a bigger picture book- there’s a ton about food in our daily lives, food in different cultures, food through different prisms. There’s also a lot about how food is connected and viewed through different lens. As someone who doesn’t really have the best relationship with food and doesn’t usually go for (nonfiction) books about it I appreciated these essays very much.
But if you are looking for a recipe book there’s not enough of those in here.
And speaking of the Great British Bake-Off since I was super-excited to get to watch season 10 on Netflix as it aired (well each episode was a couple of days after) I hate to admit this was probably one of my least favorite seasons.
***I should say spoilers for a mid-season elimination below…
There’s a lot that’s already been written if you follow the show but I agree they amped up the drama way too much this season. The contestants skewed young this year and I really missed the older contestants in the tent. It felt at times almost too much of a clique with some of them.
Plus the judging was super iffy in places. I mean why? Why did Priya last two weeks longer than she should have especially when on one of those weeks they double eliminated Halloween Helena???
Plus other than Steph and Helena’s creations none of the bakes looked that interesting and a heck of a lot of them didn’t seem like they were turning out that well.
I hope next year they can recapture the earlier seasons.
Hungry Hearts: Recommend
Eat Up!: Recommend but not as a recipe/cookbook!
GBBO: Recommend- but earlier seasons are far more enjoyable.