Full Title: “How To Eat A Lobster And Other Edible Enigmas Explained” by Ashley Blom with Illustrations by Lucy Engelman. Published by Quirk Books.
The book is in size, similar to a travel guide, but with a hard cover dancing with cute and colorful illustrations. You of course see that lobster, a hand holding chopsticks, a pomegranate, an artichoke and several other culinary “situations”. Clearly the answers to these culinary dilemmas lie within. Clever use of a book cover, if you ask me.
Inside you’ll find a table of contents divided by techniques, etiquette, and what she calls “foodie fixes”. Basically an expertly curated list of things that produce a challenge, be it a complicated food, an odd situation at the table, and advice for looking like a foodie boss even if you’re new to something that arrives on your plate or table. Your host is gonna love you!
Each topic is clearly described, broken down into easy to follow along written instructions accompanied by cute, but technical illustrations to show you hand positions, anatomy of the food, charts of table set ups, and so on. The bite sized (no pun intended) instructions have just the right amount of info in each step, and it feels like a non-judgy friend is showing you how to approach these topics.
There are also equipment lists, alerts explaining extra stuff to know about the topic, and culinary quotes. I love a good literary quote, and as a food writer myself it reminds me that culinary writing can be clever, beautiful, sensual, and even brilliant.
Simply put, Blom created an incredibly useful guide. This would be a wonderful gift for a recent graduate heading into the world, and anyone seeking to expand their culinary prowess. I personally wish I had this book years ago when I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast and was faced with a whole new world of shellfish. Now that I’ve moved to Texas, I already knew which topic to skip to: How To Eat Crawfish. Now that I own this handy little guide I can stop avoiding those little freaky mud bugs and go for it.
Locally in Austin, you can purchase the book at Book People, among other brick and mortar stores. You can purchase it on Amazon Here.