Book review: The Fat Kitchen — by Andrea Chesman
In his foreword, Michael Ruhlman, author of numerous cookbooks including “Salumi and Ratio,” describes Ripton’s own Andrea Chesman’s new cookbook as “unapologetic, informative, clear and filled with recipes that make [him] want to head to the kitchen.” It is Chesman, and Ruhlman by the way, who assert cooking with animal fats is not bad, and that some health professionals have begun to dial back on their blanket condemnation of animal fats. In fact, everyday dishes will have unparalleled flavor and delicate textures, pastries turn out tender and flaky, and fried foods, rather than being greasy, will be light, crisp and caramelized. The book is broken down into two main parts, “Understanding Animal Fats” and “Recipes,” with the latter section focusing on snacks, mains, sides, baked goods and basics with most of the recipes are traditional recipes from around the world. The first section is a comprehensive guide to rendering, cooking and baking with animal fats, and a short lesson on comparing fats and how an oil is processed and why that matters — and of course discusses saturated and mono- and polyunsaturated fats — all of which is really fascinating and is informed by current studies and understandings. Plus it’s lavishly illustrated, with full color diagrams and photographs.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
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