Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: October 1st, 2011
Genre: Nonfiction- Food History
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A social, cultural, andabove all culinary history of dessert, Sweet Invention explores the world’s great dessert traditions, from ancient India to 21st-century Indiana. Each chapter begins with author Michael Krondl tasting and analyzing an icon of dessert, such as baklava from the Middle East or macarons from France, and then combines extensive scholarship with a lively writing style to spin an ancient tale of some of the world’s favorite treats and their creators. From the sweet makers of Persia who gave us the first donuts to the sugar sculptors of Renaissance Italy whose creativity gave rise to the modern-day wedding cake, this authoritative read clears up numerous misconceptions about the origins of various desserts, while elucidating their social, political, religiousand even sexualuses through the ages.
I feel like this book had a ton of potential that it just didn’t live up to. I very much loved the sections on India and the Middle East. Maybe it was because I hardly have any knowledge about the culinary traditions and I was very interested in learning about their desserts. The history of those countries was fascinating to me.
But then I started to read the section on Italy and I started to fall asleep. And I’m really having a hard time explaining why, but the wording and the writing style got really dry. I felt like all of a sudden I was reading a textbook back in college. And it’s a shame, because I really wanted to enjoy what I was reading.
When there is a book that I can’t finish I just can’t give it more than two stars. Two stars means the book was okay. And that’s what I really felt. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t enjoy how 1/3 of the book through it started to take on a scholarly approach. And I truly realize that it may just be me. The style of writing just didn’t appeal to me and I was disappointed because I really wanted to like it.
If you can get past the educational approach, and you think this may be something you might enjoy, you can pre-order it from Amazon here: Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert.
**If you click on that Amazon link and order anything, I will earn a small commission which I use for site upkeep and giveaways.