I am taking part in (never home)maker's Foodie Book Club. The selection for the first month was The Nasty Bits By Anthony Bourdain. It is a collection of various essays and articles Bourdain has written. First of all, I'm going to admit I haven't finished the book, mostly because I've found myself unable to get into it. His writing is very raw and in-your-face and while I appreciate his personality and strong opinions, at times I felt like he was saying "THIS IS WHAT I THINK AND IF YOU DON'T AGREE, YOU ARE STUPID." I will also admit that while I am aware of Bourdain's existence, I have never seen his show or read anything by him before. Perhaps if I watched his show, his strong personality would be more endearing.
The two essays I found most interesting happen to be the same two that Ashley of (never home)maker mentioned in her review. "Are you a Crip or a Blood?" discusses the slow food movement, dividing the issue into two gangs: chefs who source their food from far off places without a second thought (the Crips), and the slow-food, Alice Waters-types (the Bloods). If you cannot tell, I am a Blood, 100 percent. I buy as much as my food as I can locally and support restaurants that do so as well. At first he calls himself a Blood, but then immediately states that he will purchase tomatoes from across the world that may have caused one person to develop cancer as long as they taste good, which to me is the absolute antithesis of the Bloods. As a chef, he wants to use the best ingredients he can find, which is understandable and I think there is a place for Crip-type restaurants, but I still prefer the Bloods.
I also really enjoyed his discussion of street food in other countries. In America, fast food is McDonald's or Taco Bell, food made with a million ingredients and chemicals and it is not. good. for. you. (And doesn't really taste good either). However, Bourdain points out that fast food in other countries is simple, flavorful, and made by an actual human right in front of you. I definitely wish that this type of fast food was more common here. I have seen pictures and read about the street food in Japan and China and South America and it makes me incredibly jealous that we are stuck with McNuggets when we want something quickly.
While I did find topics that interested me here and there in this book, overall it is not going on my favorites list. It focuses a lot more on the restaurant world, which is something I appreciate, but is not my main food interest. I love reading about personal relationships with food and home-cooking, which is why I am incredibly excited that next month's pick is Orangette's A Homemade Life. I have already read that book and am looking forward to going through it again because I have the biggest girl-crush on Molly Wizenburg and desperately want to be her best friend. Next month I promise a better review and a recipe to go with it!
If you want to join the Foodie Book Club, you can do so here: