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Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating:
Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Zingerman's is a food emporium specializing in top-quality products. One of the store's founding partners, Ari Weinzweig, is also the author of Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating, a key to the pleasures of the best breads, cheeses, olive oil, chocolate, and more, complete with 130 recipes. Like his store (whose name is a fanciful evocation of old-world delis), Weinzweig is committed to the best. Why? "Ultimately, I could care less whether food is fancy," he writes. "I just want it to taste good." The better food tastes," he says, "the more zing [in your] daily routine." A too modest claim for the pleasures of getting to know your food
Beginning with an exploration of the why and how of better ingredients (if you think you can't recognize them, Weinzweig offers "eating experiments," such as trying supermarket Swiss cheese versus a well-aged GruyŤre), and other help (like "Saffron Superstitions Skewered"). He then presents food profiles--such as those for oils, olives, and vinegars, and grains and rices--with notes on production and exemplary types, brand information and other what-to-look for info, plus suggestions for use. For example, readers learn about Italian rices such as arborio and carnaroli; discover how to recognize their impostors (look for the seal of the rice growers consortium); take a visit to a venerable rice grower; then receive thorough advice on risotto making. Simple, flavorful recipes that highlight food items, such as Roquefort and Potato Salad, Pasta with Pepper and Pecorino, and Buckwheat Honey Cake, follow. In addition, Weinzweig also offers timelines like that for chocolate, plus technical tips such as those for brewing tea successfully. As sensible as it's informative, the book's a true blueprint for discovery. --Arthur Boehm [via]