We first wrote about Chitra Agrawal when we discovered her Brooklyn Delhi products. Since then she’s been up to a lot more than just jarring delicious pickled things from India. Her latest edition to your Indian food education comes in book form with Vibrant India. South Indian cooking is not the Indian dishes that commonly pop to mind for us Americans. Having a South Indian mother-in-law has schooled me on these flavorful and light regional tastes. Chitra draws from her mother’s cooking bringing Bangalore all the way to Brooklyn where she adds her own twists to these vegetarian classics. I’ve often proclaimed, “I could go full vegetarian.” after eating at my in-laws for a weekend. As a pretty serious carnivore, that says a lot about her book and the deliciousness potential. Point is, there’s something for everyone in this book. Vegan, vegetarians, paleo or carnivore the flavors and simplicity will swoon you. We promise.
More Culture Stuff
10 years ago I read a book called “The History of Food” which chronicles human eating habits from the hunters and gatherers we started as through the birth of restaurants and into today’s modern industrial food complex (disaster). A History of Food in 100 Recipes sets out to drop the same knowledge but in a more approachable less academic prose. There’s pretty pictures too which softens some of the more aggressive and outright despicable turns in our food history. For anyone who wants to not only what we eat but why we do, this is a great read.
Play culinary casino with your next meal and let fate decide your flavor. We’ll say it over and over again at FTHQ, playing with your food makes it taste better. Lady luck adds a bit of mystery and mayhem to that fun. Last time we rolled ‘em we wound up with a baked lemon, dandelion green salad. Double down on that.
Anthony Bourdain’s World Travel: An Irreverent Guide is a bitter sweet release given the icons untimely passing. Set for release in April, we have not read it yet but expect a must eat list in true Tony voice. Promised by write ups and his long time assistant and co-writer, Laurie Woolever, are his stories and picks of some of the most fascinating places he visited, according to him. As we always made sure to mention, if not obvious, all of Anthony’s shows and books were about experience, not food. Sure, food was his co-protagonist, but his use of that common interest allowed him to share experiences from cultures many of use will never touch first hand. This truth married with his snarky, yet caring, prose drew us in and…kept us “hungry for more”. The pages promise a travel guide in Tony’s own words dropping essential advice on how to get around, where to stay and, what to avoid and of course what to eat. Augmenting the guide are essays by friends, colleagues, and family shedding further light on the location and Anthony’s experience. Illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook carry that frenetic, punk rock story vibe visually through the book. Pre-orders are now available.
With the every exploding foodie craze devouring New York, a book like Ina Yalof ’s Food and the City is a peephole into the minds of those on the front lines. Cutting through the clutter of food tweets, Instagram gasto-sensational pics and verbose bloggers (present company included) Ina interviews New York’s pro chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, street vendors, and purveyors getting to the root of their passion for their daily grind. In a lot of ways, this will reground us all to why we care so much about this newly crowned food lifestyle popularity in the first place.