Monday, December 30, 2013

Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery by James Lileks

I started reading this a few years ago. I think it was the night my grandmother died because I wanted something funny to avoid the obvious. I read 43 photo-filled pages and never got back to it. I buzzed through the remaining 133 pages in one afternoon last week.

Gastroanomalies bears some resemblance to The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan. The author shares photos from ads and cookbooks of the post-World War II era and makes snarky, often hilarious comments about them. I didn't even know what an aspic was until I read this book (and the only reason I had heard the word was because it's in the title of a King Crimson album).

I don't remember what I paid for this book except that it was a pretty steep discount (maybe $6.99?). The list price of $23.95, while appropriate for the print quality, is pretty high for someone of my generation. Perhaps someone older who made this stuff or grew up eating it would be willing to pay that much. Gastroanomalies was preceded by The Gallery of Regrettable Food, both of which were drawn from Lilek's website.


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