Review: Pot on the Fire

Pot on the Fire CoverPot on the Fire: Further Confessions of a Renegade Cook, John Thorne (2000)

Pot on the Fire is a collection of essays about food and cooking, each one exploring a particular dish or ingredient or meal, with recipes. It is all fascinating and eminently readable, and reading it I learned quite a lot about such diverse subjects as the history of the potato in Ireland, the Vietnamese sandwich and pizza-making in Naples. All this from a writer who, it appears, never leaves his home states of Maine and Massachusetts. I even discovered, finally, how to cook perfect rice. I don’t know if I’ll try any of the recipes, but the essays inspired me to be more thoughtful and self-aware of my own cooking, to consider the history of the foods I eat and to always strive for a better recipe. 

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