Bread, Wine, Chocolate

Bread, Wine, Chocolate

The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
5
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Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi explores the history and cultural importance of our most beloved tastes, paying homage to the ingredients that give us daily pleasure, while providing a thoughtful wake-up call to the homogenization that is threatening the diversity of our food supply.

Food is one of the greatest pleasures of human life. Our response to sweet, salty, bitter, or sour is deeply personal, combining our individual biological characteristics, personal preferences, and emotional connections. Bread, Wine, Chocolate illuminates not only what it means to recognize the importance of the foods we love, but also what it means to lose them. Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi reveals how the foods we enjoy are endangered by genetic erosion--a slow and steady loss of diversity in what we grow and eat. In America today, food often looks and tastes the same, whether at a San Francisco farmers market or at a Midwestern potluck. Shockingly, 95% of the world's calories now come from only thirty species. Though supermarkets seem to be stocked with endless options, the differences between products are superficial, primarily in flavor and brand.

Sethi draws on interviews with scientists, farmers, chefs, vintners, beer brewers, coffee roasters and others with firsthand knowledge of our food to reveal the multiple and interconnected reasons for this loss, and its consequences for our health, traditions, and culture. She travels to Ethiopian coffee forests, British yeast culture labs, and Ecuadoran cocoa plantations collecting fascinating stories that will inspire readers to eat more consciously and purposefully, better understand familiar and new foods, and learn what it takes to save the tastes that connect us with the world around us.

Publisher: San Francisco :, HarperOne,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780061581076
0061581070
Characteristics: 350 pages :,color illustrations ;,24 cm

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JCLJoyceM Aug 05, 2016

I appreciated the reminder to experience our food with all our senses. Americans are in such a hurry, we forget to really taste our food and not just gulp it down.
The author explains the importance of buying from local, smaller producers who have a bigger stake in the success of our food at large.

c
CharlotteReads
May 31, 2016

Some interesting facts in there, but a tad on the fluffy side, if you have done much foodie reading. The author uses the personal pronoun 'I' far too many times and the book could be half as long without it.

c
cruz__control
Apr 12, 2016

I loved this book. Not an easy read, but that was the appeal of it...it's a book to savor. It makes me appreciate the origins of the drinks/foods she discusses and I like the tips at the end of each section that provide insight on how to taste each one. This book will resonate with me as someone who is trying to become more and more mindful of the impact each of us makes in what we choose to purchase, drink, and eat. She does go on tangents that do not seem so related to eating or drinking, but the education is what makes me appreciate the tastes even more.

l
laurenyuen
Feb 22, 2016

The author's voice is extremely obnoxious. She inserts her political views into EVERYTHING - and there are a very painful few pages where she goes on and on about the Sikh religion - isn't this a book about FOOD? Also, parts of this book read like the script for a World Vision commercial.

Some of the people she interviewed are really interesting but any time the author starts off on a monologue it was VERY hard not to skip ahead.

Really glad I got this book out from the library and didn't buy it. If you read this book my recommendation is to read only the first two sections on Wine and Chocolate, the Coffee one is okay too. The others are *very* weak.

This book gets 2/5 stars, it would have gotten 3/5 stars if the author could have stayed on topic at the least. Also, the book could have used some more editing, clearly the author doesn't have English as a first language and sometimes her sentences were unintentionally ambiguous and she uses idioms incorrectly e.g. "In the dead of summer" is not an expression, she was trying to use "in the dead of winter" but applied it to the summertime which makes no sense.

p
pokano
Dec 27, 2015

Not an easy book to read. The author tries to marry the idea of a dangerous loss of biodiversity of some of our favorite foods (wine, chocolate, beer, coffee, and bread) with the need to savor our food and notice more of what we are really tasting. Part of the problem is that we've learned to crave uniformity and consistency in much of our food, whereas biodiversity necessitates inconsistency and mutation. To me, the best chapter was about coffee and its origins in Ethiopia where coffee still grows wild and, if south Sudan is included, 99% of the biodiversity of arabica coffee can be found. But coffee growers there, as in many other coffee growing countries, are small farmers who often find that they are growing coffee at a loss.

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