Thursday, 5 November 2009
What do you get when you combine literary history with culinary delights? The answer: Kafka's Soup, A Complete History of Literature in 17 Recipes by Mark Crick aka the perfect present for food and literature lovers aka me.
It is an original, clever and very funny little book that combines literature's greats with some scrumptious recipes, that actually work. Whether you're in the mood for tarragon eggs à la Jane Austen, rich chocolate cake à la Irvin Welsh or clafoutis grandmère à la Virginia Woolf, it's all in there. Trust me, never before has a cookbook been so entertaining, useful and intellectually stimulating.
The ingenuity of this book however, is that photographer Mike Crick describes the preparation of each dish in the style of a famous writer resulting in passages such as "Feeling the blade in my hand I sliced an onion, and before I knew what I was doing a carrot lay in pieces on the slab. None of them moved... They had it coming to them." If you were wondering, this will result in Raymond Chandler's lamb with dille sauce.
Pastiche is also combined with pretty pictures which include works by Hogarth, Warhol and De Chirico to name but a few. The ensemble creates an unparalled tantalizing treat for your mind as well as your mouth.
Kafka's Soup is a glorious cookbook and a true literary treat due to its stylistic tricks and multiple tongue in cheek references. Crick has done an excellent job in capturing not only the essence of the author but also in capturing some sublime and simple flavors.