432 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.25 in
October 31, 2013
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1594204519
ISBN - 13: 9781594204517
Read from the Book
Preface This is a book about taste — a guide to deliciousness. I’ve tried to tell the things that will turn the reader into an instant connoisseur, which is a contradiction in terms, of course. It can’t be done. But I hope to give a good head start.My choices may provoke arguments over which are the top fifty foods, but I don’t claim that mine are the absolute best and most delicious. The world has too many great foods for anyone to settle on a mere fifty. I chose these partly because they provide a broad sensory range. Most are raw materials, but some have been fermented or otherwise transformed — into bread, ham, cheese. In fact, six of the fifty are cheeses, and you may wonder: why so many? The answer is that cheese is probably the best food, just as wine is the best drink, and even six doesn’t cover all the wonderful basic kinds.I’ve tried to present clear, simple, practical information about buying, using, preparing, and enjoying. I focus on aroma, appearance, flavor, and texture. For each food, I tell what the “best” means, when that’s clear — often there’s more than “best.” I tell where the foods come from and the methods that make them. I give the signs of top quality — indications of freshness and ripeness, best season, top varieties, proper aging. I tell things to avoid and provide questions to ask. If the food can be stored, I tell how, even how to mature certain soft cheeses. This isn’t a cookbook, but if the way to prepare, serve, or eat something isn’t well-kno
From the Publisher
With 50 Foods, noted authority Edward Behr has created the definitive guide to the foods every food lover must know. A culinary Baedeker, 50 Foods will delight and inform the connoisseur as well as the novice.
Like Behr’s celebrated magazine, The Art of Eating, 50 Foods presents simple, practical information about buying, using, preparing, and enjoying. Behr focuses on aroma, appearance, flavor, and texture to determine what “the best” means for each food. He tells you how to select top quality—signs of freshness and ripeness, best season, top varieties, proper aging. If the way to prepare, serve, or eat something is little known, then he explains it (how to open an oyster, why the best way to cook green beans is boiling, how to clean a whole salted anchovy, when to eat and when to discard the rind of a cheese). Behr also names the most complementary foods and flavors for each of these fifty marvelous foods and the wines that go with them.
The fifty selections provide a broad sensory range for the modern gourmet. Most of the foods are raw materials, but some have been fermented or otherwise transformed—into bread, ham, cheese. Six of the fifty are cheeses. As Behr explains, cheese is probably the best food, as wine is the best drink. Behr argues that food tastes more delicious when it is closer to nature. Skilled low technology is almost always superior to high technology. But with scientific insight, the old methods can be refined to achieve more consistent high quality.
We can’t always have the best, but with the information in this book we can eat better every day. Knowing good food is part of a complete understanding of the world—part of a full enjoyment of nature, a full experience of the senses, a full life.
For the connoisseur at any level, 50 Foods is a beautifully written guide to deliciousness, with color illustrations by Mikel Jaso throughout.
About the Author
Edward Behr is the founder of the acclaimed food magazine The Art of Eating. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He lives in Vermont.
The Wall Street Journal:“In putting together 50 Foods, Mr. Behr has made use of his decades of interviewing farmers and wine producers and his travels in Europe and America. He has strong tastes and strong opinions, and his smart and evocative descriptions make for good reading. Stop at any entry, and he'll draw you in...it will be useful to both the novice and the conoisseur." Los Angeles Times:“Great reading." The Minneapolis Star Tribune:"For the reader who loves to burrow into a food book with as much enthusiasm as with a novel...It's a delightful book with beautiful design and clever illustrations from Mikel Jaso that will make you smile (at least I did)."The Daily Beast:"One ingredient at a time, Edward Behr will change the way you eat for the better....Behr is after something more fundamental and elusive. He is after good taste. He is after questions that have animated humans since we could eat—why things taste good; what tastes best together; why we eat certain things at certain times, and so on. That is why, unlike the dozen or so brilliant, useful, and enticing cookbooks published this year (see Heston Blumenthal, Fergus Henderson, Alice Waters, Le Pigeon, etc.), Behr’s book deserves your attention. In elegant, clear, and enthusiastic prose, he’s gives us the building blocks to think about food, to move beyond the recipes and understand why things taste good.”The Atlantic:"Each [entry] has soomething on buying and storing you can learn from, and an observation you m