May 26, 2015 Leave a comment
It has been awhile since I posted a book review but this one was such a fabulous read, I wanted to bookmark it here.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let me start by saying I loved this book and I’m neither a foodie nor an enthusiastic cook or traveller!
Jake’s adventurous life has humble beginnings, as a little helper to his grandmother who assists in the kitchen of a duke in medieval England. He learns about vegetables and meats and cooking as he runs errands and even as his grandmother dies suddenly. His talent attracts several mentors, friends but even more enemies and he finds himself thrown into new situation after foreign kitchen. Jake moves from England to Italy to Turkey to France. Every journey, every place brings him new learnings about flavours, vegetables and cooking techniques. He earns to haggle with traders, fend off thieving merchants, avoid politicking courtiers and manipulative mentors. He also finds love, loses it, embraces new cultures and creates many culinary delights.
This book will interest anyone who loves cooking because of its numerous descriptions of dishes ranging from the simple to the spectacular. It’s also a great look at European history via the lens of food. And finally, it’s just a really great novel. It was a lot longer than I usually have the patience for, but somehow it carried me through.