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Serious Pig: An American Cook in Search of His Roots
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Serious Pig: An American Cook in Search of His Roots

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In this collection of essays, John Thorne sets our to explore the origins of his identity as a cook, going "here" (the Maine coast, where he'd summered as a child and returned as an adult for a decade's sojourn), "there" (southern Louisiana, where he was captivated by Creole and Cajun cooking), and "everywhere" (where he provides a sympathetic reading of such national culi ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by North Point Press (first published 1996)
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Jul 05, 2007 Chadwick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cooks
Shelves: food
I read this book again and again. I use it in the kitchen more than almost any other text, not only for the recipes but for the well-thought out approach to craft that Thorne shares throughout all of these essays. His basic clam chowder is one of the finest things that I have ever made, and despite my growing up in Southwest Louisiana, this book's Yankee author taught me how to make the best jambalaya I have ever tasted.
John Thorne is one of my favorite food writers. He’s been doing it long before it was fashionable-or profitable! His first book, Simple Cooking, is out of print, but I credit it for awakening me to the delight of the kitchen. So, I am doing my part in trying to create a larger audience for him. He also publishes a newsletter/website, The Outlaw Cook, which is chock full of fun stuff. You will get insights, recipes, and food lore all wrapped up in delicious writing. Check him out!
Too much serious; not enough pig. This book longs to be taken seriously. It begs for it. The end result is a pretentious work that has some interesting recipes (although I haven't tried any to see what comes from them) sparsely spread between a collection of C- sociology papers. There are a few interesting insights, but they're too few and far between. The section on chili must be purposefully put at the very end, because most sensible readers would stop right there.
I read this because Alton Brown recommended it, and I can see why, but it was a lot of information and little of it seemed applicable to me and my cooking style. Part 1 describes a rustic, New England style, heavy on the crustaceans. Part 2 is entirely New Orleans and, while I love a good jambalaya, doesn't do much for me in the everyday. Part 3 is the "serious pig" and really is serious about pig. I'm glad I have it for reference if I ever decide to roast a whole one.
Ann Marie
I'm going to have to come back to this book. Or not. I just couldn't get into it. Sometimes with me that's at timing issue and nothing to do with the quality of the book. We'll see.
This guy loves to eat. There is an entire chapter devoted to perfectly cooked rice.
Bean holes, smoked meats, and pancakes. Best book about food I have read.
Jon-paul Walton
I have not read this book.
This site sucks
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