Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: The School of Essential Ingredients

I picked up this book a long time ago as a gift for my mom then forgot all about it.  I happened across it recently though, just in time for Mother’s Day!  But I also wanted to read it first, both to make sure that she would like it and to give us something to share.  I always enjoy discussing books, particularly special stories like this one.

The story is centered around a cooking class, which was the main reason I picked it up.  I love food-related books, but you don’t see them too often in fiction.  Erica Bauermeister definitely has a way with words when it comes to food, but it’s not a recipe-style story like other food books.  She just uses beautifully descriptive prose that honestly will make your mouth water.  I did pick up a few interesting food tidbits along the way though, and it inspired me to try making my own corn tortillas for the first time with a small amount of success!

The cooking class is the theme, but the story lies in the people in it.  Each character gets a section of the book where their story is told, although as it continues their lives become more intermingled.  There is joy, heartbreak, loss, innocence, love, you name it – I both laughed and cried my way through it.  She really draws you into each of their stories, and is excellent at keeping the flow going so it still seems like a cohesive novel. 

I definitely recommend checking this one out, particularly if you are into food, or as a present for a foodie that likes to read. I also advise not reading on an empty stomach if you don’t have a snack readily available!   You can find it on Amazon here

Happy reading!

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