Garlic and Sapphires

In the vein of fiddling while Rome burns I read Ruth Reichl’s decadent account of being the restaurant critic for The New York Times in one gulp last night. Could not put Garlic and Sapphires down, no matter how hungry I got, how desperate to run out of the house and find the incredible food, and wine she describes.

I defy you not to get very very hungry reading prose like this, even if you just ate:

I took a bite and immediately forgot his knee. I forgot everything but what was going on in my mouth, the fish doing a little tango with crunchy strips of artichoke. The softness of the fish was sandwiched between layers of crunch—the artichoke on the bottom, bread crumbs on top, the flavors appearing and vanishing in a maddening way. I thought I tasted chestnut, and then it was gone, absorbed into the deep musky flavor of the wine.

Want. Now!

Her food critic m.o. is kind of insane and involves wigs, elaborate costumes and whole new identities in order to avoid being identified and thus sucked up to outrageously, with over the top service and food because, don’t you know, she’s The New York Times restaurant critic and thus more important, even, than the king of Spain.

Anyway her book is well-writ and funny and sad and all about food and wine. What more could you ask for?


  1. anonymous on #

    Being poor is never eating a meal like that.

  2. Justine Larbalestier on #

    Yup, annonymous, Scalzi’s post is exactly right.

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