The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up With Fondue (Pluse Baconomics, Superfoods, and other Secrets From The World of Food Trends (Anglais) Relié – 12 juin 2014
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Similar to to Save the Deli, I found the strengths of this book to be the quality of the research and Sax's knack for creative descriptions. I especially love his creative descriptions because I read a lot of food writing, so I appreciate his ability to describe foods and the food scenes in ways I haven't previously heard in other books. And not only do his descriptions feel new, but they do an amazing job of bringing to life what he is talking about. Whenever he was describing a scene in this book I truly felt that he transported me to the middle of it.
That said, my experience with this book was not without issues. Like Save the Deli, my biggest issue was with the overall organization of the book. It really didn't feel like there was a continuous narrative throughout or some kind of structure tying all the pieces together. Because of this, some of the chapters and even paragraphs within the chapters felt disjointed and it interrupted the flow of the book for me.
I also felt like this book was more about telling story of individual trends (i.e. cupcakes, cornets, bacon, etc.) rather than establishing a kind of framework for how food trends form. He does touch on the latter within the individual stories, but not to the degree that I expected. Because of this, it felt like a book that was geared more toward a foodie who likes reading food books for entertainment than someone in the food industry who might be trying to understand the food trend model in order to apply it to their job. It's worth noting because if you are coming to it hoping it will make you better at forecasting food trends, you'll likely walk away disappointed.
Overall I think there is a lot to like about this book, but there are also things holding it back from being more broadly applicable.
I was still very engaged with the book as I began reading the second section (about how trends break out). But somewhere in the midst of part two, the author started to lose me, and my interest began to wane. The research and writing were well executed, but perhaps the book included almost a little too much detail for my taste. Just as I was plugging along through the beginning of part three, and a bit too much detail about Indian food, things really started to lose steam.
I considered tabling the book for awhile, but thankfully the author brought me back around with DC food trucks. Food trucks fascinate me, and DC is just outside my hometown. That section was a definite win for me. Then Sax continued to bounce back into my heart with bacon. My beloved bacon. I pressed on, and enjoyed reading about fondue, and its cycle of popularity. Finally, who could resist the cronut closing? I've yet to try a cronut (a hybrid croissant/doughnut) but the idea delights and intrigues me. Overall, this was an interesting read about food trends, and why we buy the things we do. I'd highly recommend this book to all foodies, as well as those who enjoy research and learning how trends break out.
*Many thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
It's a good book to practice speed reading too. You can avoid digesting much of the fluff, and seek out some interesting details, or insights. I don't usually like to abandon books, but this has become too laborious for my taste (I don't prefer to wait in lines in order to Instagram photos of food, and tell my friends just how much the wait in the long line was justified).
The writing could be clearer at times and there were a few printing mistakes but that did not distract me. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would tell anyone interested in a crash course of the food industry to read this book.