When I was a young, bookish child, I could spend hours reading over written descriptions about food, different foods, imagining what they might taste like. The fantastical heartiness of Chicken Soup With Rice that inspired me to eat rice from the rice cooker and leftover ginger chicken broth for a week. The precisely rendered recipes in Little House On The Prairie that I failed to recreate. The English simplicity of a picnic in The Secret Garden that made me run to the encyclopedia, curious about clotted cream because it sounded so good. In fact, I’d credit children’s books — and books about food in particular — with sparking my desire to write well, and to eat well.
The following books would not have done that.
With yesterday’s news that a children’s book about Julia Child’s life will be published later this month, I quickly realized: there must be a fair amount of celebrity chefs writing books targeted at the young ‘uns. And the books that they’re writing are kind of frightening, mostly because many of them are endorsed by the Food Network. They’re capturing their market at a young age. Just like the tobacco industry! (Not that we’re comparing the Food Network to the tobacco industry… we’re just, you know, pointing out their savvy marketing tendencies.)