Friday, November 06, 2015

My Pantry by Alice Waters, a review

This is, for the most part, a great book for those wanting to keep a pantry and make their own items for the pantry.  The book is by Alice Waters, whom I have long admired for the way she helped change how America looked at food.  The charming illustrations are by her daughter, Fanny Singer.

The chapters are:
  • Spice Mixtures and Condiments
  • Nuts
  • Beans and Other Legumes
  • Savory Preserves
  • Whole Grains
  • Preserved Fish and Meat
  • Cheese
  • Sweet Preserves

We are told how to make everything from Za'atar, to apple peel cider vinegar, to almond milk, to hummus, to zucchini pickles, to gravlax, to ricotta and yogurt, to vanilla extract and lovage syrup.  I plan to make the lovage syrup when my lovage (hopefully) returns next Spring.

A lot of reviewers said that the book was not what they expected and I admit to having the same feelings.  I knew the recipes would include a lot of those which are more West Coast than my own Midwestern style of cooking.  That is fine. 

But the more I thought about what the book was missing, I kept coming back to my desire for... lists.   While some items are discussed, what would have been helpful is to have actual lists of what items are in Alice Waters pantry.  What kind of olive oil is there?  What types of salt exactly does she feel are important?  What particular spices and herbs could one find on the shelf?

Having said that, as with Alice Waters other books, it makes for enjoyable reading.

This book was provided by Blogging For Books for review but the opinions are my own.


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I can see how you'd want to know that kind of stuff - after all it's Alice Waters! What does she have in HER pantry!? It's interesting that she didn't include that in a book about her pantry.


Vee said...

If I don't recognize the food, it is unlikely that I have enough intellectual curiosity to even pick up the book. So thank you because I will look up Alice and her daughter and perhaps visit Amazon to read more.

tealady said...

Can't win them all. That's why I like your review's.

mdoe37 said...

I purchased the book and have not had a chance to go through it in depth. But, I too, thought it was missing lists. A lot of what was in the book is not in the taste buds of this household. When I think of pantry, I guess I think even a little more basic. After I get a chance to look through it more, it will probably be donated to the library.