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Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes [Hardcover]

Jennifer McLagan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2008
For all of history, minus the last thirty years, fat has been at the center of human diets and cultures. When scientists theorized a link between saturated fat and heart disease, industry, media, and government joined forces to label fat a greasy killer, best avoided. But according to Jennifer McLagan, not only is our fat phobia overwrought, it also hasn’t benefited us in any way. Instead it has driven us into the arms of trans fats and refined carbohydrates, and fostered punitive, dreary attitudes toward food–that wellspring of life and pleasure.

In Fat, McLagan sets out with equal parts passion, scholarship, and appetite to win us back to a healthy relationship with animal fats. She starts by defusing fat’s bad rap, both reminding us of what we already know–that fat is fundamental to the flavor of our food–and enlightening us with the many ways fat (yes, even animal fat) is indispensable to our health.

Mostly, though, Fat is about pleasures–the satisfactions of handling good ingredients skillfully, learning the cultural associations of these primal foodstuffs, recollecting and creating personal memories of beloved dishes, and gratifying the palate and the soul with fat’s irreplaceable savor. Fat lavishes the reader with more than 100 recipes from simple to intricate, classic to contemporary, including:

• Butter-Poached Scallops
• Homemade Butter
• Carnitas
• Duck Confit
• Sautéed Foie Gras with Gingered Vanilla Quince
• Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Sage Butter
• Steak and Kidney Pie
• Lamb Fat and Spinach Chapati
• Bacon Spice
• Cookies
• Salted Butter Tart

Observing that though we now know everything about olive oil, we may not know what to do with lard or bone marrow, McLagan offers extensive guidance on sourcing, rendering, flavoring, using, and storing animal fats, whether butter or bacon, schmaltz or suet. Stories, lore, quotations, and tips touching on fat’s place in the kitchen and in the larger culture round out this rich and unapologetic celebration of food at its very best.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089357
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 21.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,502,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer McLagan has over 35 years experience in the food world as a chef, caterer, food stylist and writer. She has been called courageous, a contrarian and even a little crazy. Well in these dietarily correct times, she is definitely a provocative iconoclast who challenges us and makes us rethink our relationship to what we eat. And while she creates delicious recipes she believes that food is more than recipes. So equipped with a quirky sense of humour, a taste for the bizarre, and bowerbird tendencies she delves into food's history, myth and culture adding to the literature of food and cooking.

Her book BONES won the James Beard Best Single Subject Cookbook award, a Gourmand World Cookbook award, and was a finalist in the IACP cookbook awards. Her book FAT, won a Gourmand World Cookbook award, the Silver Sprout Award, and both the IACP and James Beard Awards for Best Single Subject Cookbook. The Beard Foundation named FAT Cookbook of the Year in 2009. Her latest book ODD BITS was published in September.

Jennifer divides her time between Toronto and Paris, for more information see www.jennifermclagan.com or jennifermclagan.blogspot.com.

Product Description

Review

'The recipes are fabulously greed inducing, the writing is firm and compelling' - Nigella Lawson

(Nigella.com )

‘Much more than a cookery book. McLagan explains and debunks the received wisdom about how bad fat is for us, and serves up her recipes with palate cleansers of historic, literary and folkloric fat facts.’ - Sophie Morris

(The Independent )

‘I’ve been salivating over (this) fascinating and brave book’ - Alex Renton

(The Times ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`It is certainly a book worth reading. The recipes are fabulously greed-inducing and the writing, while it has a light touch, is firm and compelling' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful revolutionary book 29 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
This detailed and authoritative book gives real information about fat in our diets. It celebrates the deliciousness of fat and explains the different sorts of fats and their real effect on us.
If only some of the institutionalised nutritionists who blindly proclaim all fat bad and to be avoided would read it and reconsider their blanket advice more people would rediscover the joy of food and cooking properly, - and probably lose weight and improve their health as a result.
And it is a beautiful book!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! 24 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
At last there is someone who is prepared to put pen to paper and justify the benefits of animal fat which has been naturally produced. This is an excellent, informative and sensible book which clearly explains why we should be using animal fats in our diet. A superbly presented book, every home should have one and every cook read it!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed the way I see food 11 Nov 2008
By OS
Format:Hardcover
Jennifer McLagan has put me back in touch with enjoying and appreciating food. She's full of well-researched calm common sense - something sorely lacking in the hysterial "obesity epidemic" headlines that seem to scold us like clueless, greedy children. Instead of alientating us from food, she celebrates the goodness, history, pleasure and benefits of eating wonderful ingredients.

Fat is a welcome return to the ingrained wisdom we used to have about the food we ate before over-processing and misinformation made eating and cooking full of guilt and consequence.

Her recipes are absolutely delish, well laid out and easy to follow. She's totally changed my relationship with food and she's made me a much better cook. Fat is a book I'm constantly going back to not only for the recipes, but also for reassuring sanity checks - from a person who truly knows - and refreshingly likes - food.

Grand stuff.
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