Cookbooks and the confusing world of food

Trends in publishing are in a continual flux and cookery is a prime example of how quickly tastes can change.

Noticeable trends at the moment are for all things baking and often goes hand in hand with vintage. See Vintage Cakes: Tremendously Good Cakes for Sharing and Giving

Cover of Find it, Eat it  Cover of Vintage cakes  Cover of Offal the fifth quarter

Organic is still popular but now we have the added thrill of foraging and sourcing local food Find it, eat it : cooking foraged food gathered around New Zealand

Sugar is a no-no, The guilt-free gourmet : indulgent recipes without sugar, wheat, or dairy but struggles when it is associated with baking or vintage.

Cover of The food policeI have also rather frighteningly noticed upsurge in the use of offal: Offal: The Fifth quarter.

How to make you own cheese and bread is still hot, and is now expanding into other areas as well. Food DIY: How to Make your Own Everything: Sausages to Smoked Salmon, Sourdough to Sloe Gin, Bacon to Buns and you could also do a bit of backyard butchering if you are so inclined: The Ultimate guide to home butchering.

As with all trends there is often a backlash. The Food Police: A well-fed manifesto about the politics on your plate proclaims that organic food is not necessarily healthier or tastier, that genetically modified food has not sickened a single person and that fascist food snobbery and the food elite are doing more damage than good!

You aren’t what you eat is less belligerent but is no less concerned with our obsession with food, celebrity culture and our loss of basic instincts. The author suggests that we “throw away the colour supplements and open a can of beans”.

Homeward bound: why women are embracing the new domesticity has a chapter titled “Cupcake feminists, hipster jam canners, and “femivores”: the rise of the DIY food culture” and looks at how this movement has brought together the strange bedfellows of liberals, conservatives, atheists, evangelicals, rural poor and urban rich.

It was a book just waiting to be written and I have been debating for a while if all of this homemade renaissance is a good or bad thing for women.

Read it for yourself and find out!

11 thoughts on “Cookbooks and the confusing world of food

  1. Donna 13 June 2013 / 9:19 am

    I love this post Jane even though I am not much of a cook, Interesting stuff, and an upsurge in offal whilst it sounds scary might actually be good. Mary Roach’s book on the alimentary canal Gulp has info on how it is an important part of the human diet but we have gotten a bit squeamish.

    • jane 13 June 2013 / 9:37 am

      I remember a certain amount of offal eating as a kid, but can’t quite go there any more I’m afraid.

  2. Laraine 13 June 2013 / 10:54 am

    I’m pleased to see there’s an upsurge in the use of offal (it’s amazing the number of farmers who don’t take any of it from their home kill butcher, even to feed their valuable cattle dogs!) I can’t cook it because my husband won’t eat it (so out went my favourite meal from my childhood, steak and kidney with dumplings) but in terms of nutritional value it far outweighs the rest of the carcass so i definitely like to make sure my dogs get some.

    • Marion 13 June 2013 / 2:07 pm

      I want to say offal isn’t so awful! At least some of it.

      • jane 13 June 2013 / 4:55 pm

        he he

    • jane 13 June 2013 / 4:57 pm

      it is funny how something that you grew up with is now the next latest “thing”. I did used to like lambsfry and bacon, but just can’t go there now, however trendy it is. And as for tripe! Well…..

  3. purplerulz 14 June 2013 / 4:49 pm

    Great blog! Yes, I’ve always been intrigued by the whole ‘genetically engineered food’ debate. Food has been bred and manipulated for centuries, not just in the labs. Many, many varieties of fruit and vegetables have disappeared, partly due to fashion and seed choice etc.

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