FAT — A review

Have I mentioned before how much I love cookbooks?

Like luuuuuuurrrrrrvvvvv cookbooks. Especially those that have a little bit of history, lore and story behind the recipes.

Yea. I have a few too many cookbooks it would seem, though I am ~not~ complaining!

I finished FAT the other night and I am feeling rather excited. As a side note, I just discovered that Google has a Beta Book Search and you can preview Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes in more detail than any other website I’ve come across. Way cool and nifty! Take a peek-see, the pictures alone are making me drool. ^_^

[Interesting unrelated tidbit — I found out the other night that Mom has been purposefully not salting meals on Family dindin night because of me, which completely explains why Dad’s been going at the salt shaker like it’s going outta style everytime we’re over. I was not aware of this until he informed me of such. Over the past number of years, Mom has gotten progressively more paranoid, “Americanized” and close-minded in her opinions of food. I have only one thing to blame for it: Oprah & Dr.Phil. Okay, that’s technically two and perhaps the latter has nothing to do with food, but it’s still has made a noticeable mark on her ability to think for herself. I just get rather frustrated when people, including my mother, suddenly deem things “unhealthy!” and “bad!” without having thought things through and then completely cut them out of their diet.]

The book is just as informative and satisfying a read, if not more so, than Bones: Recipes, History & Lore. I love how she goes about advocating the use of animal fats and explains in scientific detail as to why we used to use them as our primary source of cooking, the health benefits of animal fats and of course recipes on what to do with all the different types of fats.

The recipes themselves are a great collection of back-to-basics (ie: how to render your own fats), slightly more involved (ie: brown butter ice cream and pastry making), “high maintenance” (ie: everything foie gras related), and funny enough: kina trashy (ie: Bacon Mayonnaise, Bacon Fat Spice Cookies & Bacon Baklava, anyone?)

There are a number of recipes that I would love to try my hand at, but it does involve finding people that are open-minded enough to take the plunge and enjoy one of life’s pleasures: the unctuousness of fat in the mouth. I’m not talking big gobs of grease or fat taken in chunks (though Italian lardo sounds extremely tasty), but just enjoy the taste of something that hasn’t been adulterated into a low-fat or more healthy recipe.

One recipe that caught my eye, given that I am primarily a baker as opposed to a cook, was Kugelhopf au Lard. It’s exactly as it sounds: A savoury, bacon studded yeast cake. Flitting around online, it looks like another version is a Bacon, Onion & Walnut Kugelhopf. Either way, I think the next dinner gathering someone has, I’m so bringing one for dinner ^_^


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