Repairing the Senses and an Anti-Cookbook, CookBook

The Lempert Report
January 20, 2016

This Week In Food News!

We have said it for years, and now researchers from the National Institute for Agriculture Research in Dijon France have reported that over half the people aged 65 to 99 who were studied had either their sense of smell, or taste - or both impaired. One-third had a good sense of smell, but not so good when it came to taste. Their concern? That as people age these loses could result in malnutrition, and the enjoyment of eating fades. Their hope is to do work on repairing the senses. In the meantime their recommendation for brands and restaurants is to develop foods that have a more pleasing texture and appearance to compensate. Another way? A bottle of Sriracha in every assisted living dining room.

There is a new cookbook out that Chef Matthew Frank wrote chronicling his eating tour across all fifty states. He calls it an anti-cookbook, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food. He searched for foods that are famous from each location. Like New England Clam Chowder, Key Lime Pie from the Florida Keys, Rat Stew from Virginia, and his least favorite, Beaver Tail Stew from Cotton, Arkansas. This book is a lot more than just odd or quirky recipes that most of us would never prepare, but rather it is a look at the culture, culinary and personality of each of the 50 regions and its population that created the dish - and why it became famous. In an era of Pinterest recipes that aim to put foods on a pedestal for photography only, it is a refreshing look to step back in time. We need more food stories from Frank and Bourdain.