Book Review: Best American Food Writing 2019 Ed. by Samin Nosrat

This is a collection of essays that involve food in some way. While the Best American . collections have been around a long time, this is only the second volume in the food series. Samin Nosrat has done a fantastic job of collecting great essays while concentrating especially on authors from various groups that dont get heard from often enough, covering topics that sometimes get buried. Food is elemental: We all have to eat. But food is also a part of our culture and our memory. After all, Prousts In Search of Lost Time begins with a madeleine. Each culinary culture has its own comfort foods, but in Charlee Dyroffs essay In Kotzebue, Alaska, Hunters are Bringing Traditional Foods, and a Sense of Comfort, to their Elders we not only learn about the efforts of Cyrus Harris and others to do what the title says bring traditional food to Inupiat Eskimos in assisted living facilities, we also learn that the recipients are not only glad to eat traditional food, but are healthier, both psychologically and physically, than when eating the food usually served by the institutions. Food can also trigger prejudices. In Do you Eat Dog? Soleil Ho discusses how the question of dog-eating is hugely overblown by westerners, compared to the extent that it actually happens in any east or southeast Asian country. She also notes how it has been used to inflame bigotry, as when one senate candidate in Oregon in 2016 wanted to stop taking in Vietnamese refugees because they would harvest peoples dogs and cats. Many people (including, until now, me) decry the food habits of some impoverished Americans, including the ubiquity of junk food, especially for children. In Why Do Poor Americans Eat so Unhealthfully? Because Junk Food is the Only Indulgence they Can Afford Priya Fielding-Singh notes that parents dont like saying no to their children all the time, but that middle-class and wealthy parents can say no to junk food because they can say yes to other requests. Poor parents have to say no to so much that they say yes to the cheapest requests their kids make for soda or chips or candy because they can. Not all the essays are overtly political. In Big in Japan Tejal Rao covers the Japanifcation of Kit-Kat bars. The familiar bars are amazingly popular in Japan and have spawned an industry including uniquely Japanese flavors and very Japanese packaging (you can buy beautifully wrapped individual bars, and these are a popular gift). In The Maraschino Mogul Ian Frazier writes about the leading manufacturer of maraschino cherries, including how he helped solve a problem of bees producing foul-tasting red honey, but also his secret life as a marijuana grower. As a statistician, I was fascinated by Stephanie M. Lees essay Sliced and Diced: Heres how Cornell Scientist Brian Wansink Turned Shoddy Data into Viral Stories about how We Eat. Wansink abused statistics. Thats right up my alley. But Lee writes so well that it should interest people who are not statisticians. I enjoyed almost every essay in this collection. If you like to read good writing and care about food, I think you will too. Samin Nosrat is a cook, teacher and the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat which won the James Beard award. She hosts a Netflix series based on her book

·RELATED QUESTION

Book collection manager on both Linux and Android

While Calibre is mainly used for managing ebooks, there is no reason you cannot also use it for a catalog of physical paper books."allow custom fields"

Calibre has custom columns."submit multiples ISBN in batch without having to type them out in an interactive dialog"

Calibre can batch add ISBNs. This requires querying external services."support the occasional ISBN-less book" Calibre does not require ISBNs or other IDs."allow searches on any field"

Calibre can search by title, author, tag, type, series, genre, publisher and price.

You can also search by custom column with a prepended #.

For example: title:latex author:lamport #read:yes"never upload any information about me (unless I deliberately request it)"

Calibre will not download metadata unless you request it to do so."retrieving book information from common fields (author, title)"

Calibre will query isbndb.com, Google Books, Amazon and Library Thing for books matching author and title when you use the "Fetch metadata" button."retrieval script" Calibre has many plugins; including one for the ISFDB."multiple-field AND search" This is easy: title:mathematics and genre:romance"simple text processing in Perl or Python" Calibre plugins can be installed from within Calibre. They are Python scripts."Open source" Calibre is GPLv3."manage short story collections" It depends on how you want to do this. Some people prefer handling anthologies by listing each short story separately, other people prefer putting them all together and using e.g. long descriptions, tags, or custom columns. There is plenty of discussion on the calibre forums."synchronize my PC and my phone through a USB cable" As of v0.9, "calibre can now connect both wirelessly and over USB to Android devices". That was in 2013; the current version is 2.39."Bibliothque Nationale" Calibre does not currently appear to have a plugin for the BnF, but writing Calibre plugins just requires some knowledge of Python scripting."cost-free on Android" While Calibre is free (gratis), the Calibre Companion app costs $3.99 on Google Play, as of October 26, 2015."Android: ... take a picture of a barcode and add it to the database seamlessly." Calibre Companion does not appear to support this. However, you could rig something up locally with Calibre on the desktop and other apps like CLZ Barry.If you are mainly interested in the requirements the Calibre does not meet, RefMaster is an Android app that is cost-free and supports barcode scanning.I've never used it, so I'm not sure how many of the other requirements it meets.There is related discussion if you are interested:And here about scanning books for ISBNs with Calibre:

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