Friday, September 26, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: September 2014

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please sign on to the link list at the end of my post.

Title: Consider the Oyster
Author: M.F.K. Fisher
via Wikipedia
M.F.K. Fisher is the grande damme of American food writers.  As Julia Child was to the television screen, Ms. Fisher was to the printed page.  Consider the Oyster is exactly as advertised, an exploration of one of humanity's most extraordinary foods: its biology, its history and its preparation.  There's even a chapter on pearls.

In my own foodie book wanderings, I find I'm more interested in learning about ingredients than in preparation.  Of course, this is largely because to this point in my life, I've done a lot more eating than cooking.  I can't say I have much of an opinion about oysters myself.  I'm sure I've eaten them but not much.  This is the sort of book that makes one hungry and I'm particularly curious about the oyster loaf the author used to eat as part of a clandestine operation with her friends at boarding school.

Fisher, a woman unashamed of her appetites, shares the sensuality of eating beautifully.  On choosing the best wine to pair with her favorite bivalve, "I have had Pouilly-Fuissé, various kinds of champagnes nature, a pink Peau d'Onion, and both bottled and open wines of Anjou with oysters in France, and whether they were correctly drunk or not, I was."  Consider the Oyster is a fun book and it's short, only 73 pages.

Please join us and share your own review of your best read from the past month.  This month's link list is below.  I'll keep it open until the end of the day.  I'll post October's tomorrow.  Meetings are the last Friday of each month.  Next gathering is October 31st.


30 comments:

  1. Foody books make me appreciate food even more.

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  2. Hm... Sounds like a good read. And I'm not crazy about oysters, either! (And nice to find another great food writer...)

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    1. Yup, she's good. I've got another of her books on my TBR list, too: The Art of Eating.

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  3. Love me some oyster! This one sounds fun, and short.

    I just got THE HEADLESS CUPID from my library, and look forward to checking it out.

    Thanks for the review!
    Veronica

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    1. I'll be very interested to know what you think of Headless Cupid. I do still wonder if my affection for it is tinted by nostalgia.

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  4. Ugh, oysters.....even when my mom would fix oyster stew, I'd pick out the oysters and drink the broth.

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    1. I don't feel as passionately about them as some do. A book like this makes me wonder what I'm missing.

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  5. It sounds an interesting book. On the south east coast of England, is a town called Whitstable, about 40 minutes drive from me, famous for its oysters.
    http://whitstableoystercompany.com/whitstable-oysters/

    P.S. I am so sorry I haven't been able to join in this month, I've just got back from a short break and although I was able to read a lot, I haven't had time to review the books. October will be an easier month for me.

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    1. No need for apologies, Sally! I'm always delighted when you can join us and certainly understand when you can't.

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  6. Oysters...mmmmm. All our best vacation included oceans and oysters.

    I'm in total agreement about the ingredients being the focus; I'm will to try techniques, but it's the ingredients that pull me in.

    Thanks, Squid! Sorry my post went up late (for me); apparently, I can't tell time when I schedule posts. :-/

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    1. No need for apologies. I'm glad you sorted out the time thing.

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  7. There's a lot of sensuality in eating right Squid. Great book review.

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    1. It took me a long time to fully appreciate that, though. It was my wife and her love of French food that ultimately hooked me.

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  8. I was a bit late in posting today, and I apologize. "Life gets in the way" sometimes.:-)

    I am a fan of books dealing with food. Love everything about it - shopping for ingredients, preparing it, but most of all consuming it.:-)

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    1. No need to apologize. I'm delighted you could join us.

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  9. Wonderful! I love that quote, too funny. I agree with Maurice that eating should absolutely be sensual ... otherwise it's just survival. I expect humans would be healthier if they really went for the sensual experience of their food. The foods that make us sickest are not the kind MFK Fisher is writing about.

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    1. So right you are. I think most Americans fail to realize these sensual pleasures, seeing food merely as sustenance or merely "tasting good." In other parts of the world, people linger over meals. Food is as much an expression of culture as language is.

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  10. I considered the oyster once... Then, I walked away.

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    1. She writes lovingly of Louisiana preparations.

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  11. When I worked at a bookstore I learned more about how many food books there are than I'd ever considered before.

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  12. I have never heard of this one! It is always great to learn about a new read- especially a short one. :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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  13. 'I'm particularly curious about the oyster loaf the author used to eat as part of a clandestine operation with her friends at boarding school.'

    Hmm. Odd. And oddly ... I don't want to say intriguing but maybe a cousin to intriguing.

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    1. It's a good story. I don't really do it justice here. Basically, they independently hired one of the kitchen staff to make it for them, then ate it in the middle of the night by candlelight.

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  14. I have read some short pieces by MFK Fisher. I love her writing. I love food (especially oysters--ha!). This sounds like a great book. I look forward to checking it out.

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    1. She writes beautifully. I look forward to exploring more of her work.

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