Serious Pig

Serious Pig

An American Cook in Search of His Roots

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
Assembles a selection of essays written as the author travels from Maine to New Orleans in search of his culinary roots, and provides recipes that reach from the American South to the Caribbean

In this collection of essays, John Thorne sets our to explore the origins of his identity as a cook, going “here” (the Maine coast, where he’d summered as a child and returned as an adult for a decade’s sojourn), “there” (southern Louisiana, where he was captivated by Creole and Cajun cooking), and “everywhere” (where he provides a sympathetic reading of such national culinary icons as the hamburger, white bread, and American cheese, and sits down to a big bowl of Texas red). These intelligent, searching essays are a passionate meditation on food, character, and place.

Blackwell North Amer
The Thornes grew up on Yankee cooking, and they were moved to find that culinary tradition alive in saltwater Maine. In "Here," the first section of the book, they renew their acquaintance with familiar dishes - lobster stew, baked beans, blueberry bread-and-butter pudding - in both Down East vernacular eating places and home kitchens.
The second part of the book, "There," traces Thorne's love affair with the cooking - New Orleans Creole and bayou Cajun - of southern Louisiana. Although his visits there were all too brief, la cuisine de Louisiane has continued to enchant him, as has the experience of being a stranger in a strange land.
Finally, in the third section, "Everywhere," Thorne takes the measure of an American cuisine that, more and more, is learning to survive without any real roots at all. He comes to terms with white bread and American cheese, explicates the erotics of the hamburger and the chocolate chip cookie, follows the evolution of the barbecue out of the decline of the pig, and examines the role of cornbread in the formation of the American character.
Cooks will find fresh inspiration in the book's many detailed recipes, from home-fried potatoes, fresh pea pie, and Moosehead gingerbread to an amazing concatenation of rice-and-bean dishes that reach from the American South through the Caribbean and all the way back to Africa.

Publisher: New York, : North Point Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c1996.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780865475021
Branch Call Number: 641.5973 THO
Characteristics: xvi, 512 p. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Thorne, Matt Lewis


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