Nan Lyons, |
Gluttony: More Is More
(Red Rock, 1999)
Red Rock Press has a series of books celebrating the deadly sins. For gluttony, Nan Lyons (author of Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?) steps up to the plate. Amid a somewhat overdone feast of high-art illustrations and clip art, Lyons offers an assortment of historical vignettes on such well-rounded figures as Diamond Jim Brady (for whom three pitchers of orange juice constituted the beverage at every meal), Pope Julius III (who dined on peacocks) and Orson Bean ("I like white-trash cooking ... Drake's Devil Dogs for dessert. Pure pleasure, no known nutrients").
And because we're only human -- although much of the book is freaky rather than mouth-watering -- she also serves up some recipes, including gilded chocolate cognac truffles (who knew you could eat gold?), garlic mashed potatoes (which sounds great) and chocolate ants (which requires 1,742 large ants -- if they are small, 2,044 -- and serves six friends of Dracula's Renfield).
The subject matter rambles more than a Ruby Tuesday menu, from food fetishes to cuisine in the cinema. It's worth a few nibbles if you're interested in the subject, but it's basically a big dose of pretty, empty calories. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
[ by Pamela Murray Winters ]