Why did I love this book?
In my first ten years in this country, I fell in love with barbecue and was lucky to travel in the Carolinas, to Kansas City, Memphis, and in Texas, the four main regions that characterize barbecue in the United States. When a friend of mine recommended Cooked by Michael Pollan, I read the first chapter called “Fire” in one go. This chapter takes you on the roads from Skylight Inn in Ayden, N.C., to The Pit in Raleigh, N.C., and other delicious barbecue places. Pollan structures his book by the four ancient elements connected to specific “cooking” methods, grilling, braising liquids, baking bread, and the fundamental of fermentation. The research for the book brought Pollan to meet experts in a particular way of cooking or prepping food, and to learn how to do it himself. Pollan shows how cooking is at the heart of our culture. This book is a page-turner, and it is food writing at its best.