Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan.

Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan.  Hardcover book published by Ten Speed Press 2008.

I was recently enjoying a meal of roast lamb with some friends, when the discussion turned to the eating of fat.  One of my co-diners had left the fat from his portion of the lamb on his plate.  When it was commented on (as we all did), he explained that since he was a young boy he had always avoided the eating of fat and then proceeded to demonstrate how to hide fat under a knife and fork to avoid getting into trouble for not clearing his plate.  The chef promptly piped up with a similar story, but did explain that she tends to cook with it regardless of her dislike of it, to give the meat extra flavour and juiciness.  I should also add that the chef is rather thin and could probably do with eating more fat.  She will probably live to be 100.  I of course have no problem with the eating of fat and have the belly to prove it.  I probably wont live to be 100.

A week later and I find this book and of course I can’t resist it (... the book... and the fat).  Not so much due to the anecdote above but more to do with the subject overall and the fact that I’ve never seen the book before.  I guess the roast lamb may have had a slight influence, although the conversation was probably more of an influence.  But if I hadn’t of had the lamb, I would still have picked up the book… although I don’t know that I would have written about it here.

The authors mission is to convince us that fat isn’t really as bad as we have been told and that we should be embracing fat in our diets.  Well I’ve been embracing fat for a number of years and have seriously considered (although rather briefly) to not embrace it so wholeheartedly.  This is not really the aim of this book as it contains so many lovely fatty recipes... just sitting their enticing me to cook fat.  Realistically, it’s like anything… moderation is probably best or maybe the occasional camouflaging of fat with a knife and fork is an option… but I doubt that I can embrace either of these options.

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