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Book Review: Eat the City

Eat The City by Robin Shulman
Title:  Eat the City
Author:  Robin Shulman
Type:  Regional Food

From the back of the book:  Food, of course, is about hunger - but it's also about community.  With humor and insight, Eat the City shows how, in places like New York, people have found ways to use their collective hunger to build their own kind of city.

Why I picked this book up:  I'm always drawn to books about food.  This book caught my eye at the library and I knew I had to read it.

My thoughts on the book:  I really enjoyed reading this book.  Lots of great history was mixed in with the present-day food seen. This is a book about the people who are passionate about the food they help create.  When Shulman describes the people she talks to, she does a fantastic job of giving you enough detail to create a vivid mental picture, without getting too wrapped up in all the little bitty details of it all.

I found this to be an easy read, with several great lines and even some great laughs along the way.  I learned a few things about the history of New York City, always a plus.  I feel like Shulman went out of her way to interview the neighborhood people, finding them off the beaten path.  These weren't just the usual from famous restaurants and large markets.  They were the people who keep on doing what they do because it makes them happy, not famous.

Excerpts from the Book:  This first quote comes from the Introduction of Eat the City.  This line really seems to sum up the world of food, in my opinion.
Food of course is about hunger.  We eat what we miss and what we want to become, the foods of our childhoods and the symbols of the lives we hope to lead. 
I got a good chuckle from this line in the chapter on Honey.  If you think about it, it really does sum up the world of beekeeping.
In beekeeping, your job is observation, fraud and theft.
From the chapter on Vegetables, comes another thought-provoking line similar to the one from the Introduction.
Every human being is a museum piece.  Along with DNA, we inherit the language, knowledge, and values of the people who raised us, and those who raised them.  Among the most profound and unshakable parts of our inheritance is food.   
One more line I just loved, came from the chapter on Sugar.
Most people don't think much about where sugar comes from.  It tastes like pleasure and looks like purity.  
In Conclusion:  If you're into reading about food, you'll enjoy reading Eat the City.  It's a history lesson wrapped up with the sweet smells and taste of the delicious foods, that help build one of America's largest cities.  You'll read about how Honey, Vegetables, Meat, Sugar, Beer, Fish, and Wine shaped the great city of New York and the history of how these foods walked us through immigration, war, prohibition, and into the present day food movements.  "Food is an art the economy will sustain.  Food is culture."

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