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Mouth Wide Open: A Cook And His Appetite

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  92 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Ever since his first book, "Simple Cooking," and its acclaimed successors, "Outlaw Cook," "Serious Pig, "and "Pot on the Fire," John Thorne has been hailed as one of the most provocative, passionate, and accessible food writers at work today. In "Mouth Wide" "Open, "his fifth collection, he has prepared a feast for the senses and intellect, charting a cook's journey from i ...more
Published November 27th 2007 by North Point Press
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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelGluten Free Slow Cooker by F.L. CloverThe Art of Eating by Mary Francis Kennedy FisherThe Joy of Cooking by Irma S. RombauerVanity Fare by Megan Caldwell
25th out of 54 books — 17 voters

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Apr 20, 2008 Melody rated it did not like it
This book made me cranky more often than not. The authorial voice is one I found annoying due in no small part to the use of 'myself' when 'me' would have done. The recipes were interesting, to be sure. However, I found them presented in a supercilious and smarmy fashion. Thorne rabbits on about how he never follows a recipe in a book, then condescends to share his tweaked and polished recipes with you. Surely you, dear reader, will not need to take any liberties! He hastens to assure you that i ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Grillables rated it liked it
Shelves: food, essays
I like John Thorne - he's unapologetic about the fact that he doesn't follow recipes, likes tasty midnight snacks scavenged from bits and pieces lying about, and samples weird canned foods from Big Lots. In many ways, he's the opposite of the pretentious food writers out there who insist on the One True Recipe and assume we all have a bottomless bank account to draw on for our daily meals. However, his entertaining snacking tidbits are often better than his longer essays on the history of variou ...more
Maureen Flatley
Mar 29, 2008 Maureen Flatley rated it really liked it
One of my favorite food writers. This book is a lovely combination of recipes and accessible and lovely.
Jun 24, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-cooking, essays
I grew up as an army brat, and thus was completely sheltered from the economic forces--and resulting stresses--that shape most American lives. No one we knew risked losing their job because of a downturn in the economy or the whim of a new boss, or possessed conspicuous wealth or even an enviably higher standard of living....
...I also have always had a hard time grasping why people want to make lots of money and, once they have it (or even before), why they buy many of the things th
Jun 14, 2009 Melissa rated it liked it
Overall, a good and easy read because the book is organized into essays, most tying contemplative comparisons between food and our human behaviors. I respect his opinion that "modern food writing" has devolved into nostalgic autobiographies with some recipes thrown in (these can be enjoyable at times though), but I disliked Thorne's twist on interpreting the genre of books like "Fast Food Nation". He theorizes that the American resolve to regulating/prohibiting "evils" like alcohol, tobacco, and ...more
Zora O'Neill
Sep 22, 2009 Zora O'Neill rated it really liked it
Short essays on various food topics, in great and inspiring detail, with sort of a quirky, all-over-the-place appetite. He really gets into ways of tweaking a recipe and why. So inspiring, actually, I went from reading about marmalade on the train home, to stopping at the store and buying some fruit, to eating marmalade a couple of hours later. Very satisfying.
Sep 20, 2009 Lucrecia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I'd never read John Thorne before this. I completely fell in love with his writing, and his attitude toward cooking. Generally, he does what he feels like, yet still holds reverence for certain concepts and the tradition behind them. In short, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and I'll definitely be reading the rest of his work soon.
Jan 18, 2012 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Why is it that so many food writers write exquisitely? I mean, food is important -- to eat -- but not that important to read about. Yet Thorne (not to mention others) is irresistable, and unlike some, his writing makes me want to eat what he's writing about. Haven't tried any recipes yet, but will attempt the minestrone this week.
Jul 09, 2009 Adoxograph rated it it was amazing
The best thing I can say here is I borrowed the book from the library. While reading it, I made three recipes, added it to my birthday list and then copied down three more recipes so that I can make them while waiting for my birthday to come around.

The section on marmalade alone made this book for me.
Sep 11, 2009 Eileen rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
It's an excellent book. John Thorne always does his homework. The marmalade chapter would send anyone with canning equipment screaming out the door for bags of fresh citrus. Still, there's occasionally something about his tone I find off-putting. It's faint, but it's there. I don't know what it is yet.
Nov 15, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was so great that I've added all of Thorne's books to my to-read list! I loved this!

The full (and more in-depth and articulate) review is at my blog.
Jan 09, 2013 Kristi rated it really liked it
Excellent food writer; he writes from the heart and the palate. I copied a few of the vegetarian recipes from this book. Especially enjoyed his take on pistachios, my favorite nut; as well as his treatise on what constitutes real Chinese food.
Oct 11, 2008 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Frustratingly pedantic, but there appear to be some good recipes and variations in here. I enjoyed the section on breakfast, and anyone obsessed with using leftover rice and making the perfect bagna cauda can't be all bad.
Jul 31, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foodstuff
I love love love the way his mind works - the curiosity, the way he can explain and simplify without dumbing down. The chapters on mashed potatoes, grits, and Chinese rice bowl made me reaaaaally hungry.
Apr 15, 2010 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Excellent food writing; I love how Thorne ties food into culture and history, and explores the connection food has with each place, as well as his own experience of it.
Marty Trujillo
Jul 31, 2012 Marty Trujillo rated it liked it
Signor Minestrone and his midnight cans of Big Lots tamales are welcome at table anytime.
Katherine Gould
Nov 11, 2008 Katherine Gould rated it really liked it
One of my favorite food writers.
Feb 22, 2010 Lu marked it as to-read
Shelves: food
Essays on food
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