Wednesday, April 4, 2007

You Are What You Eat

A quick bite, today.

Steve Ettlinger is a food writer. One day, during a picnic with his family, one of the kids went off on the ingredients listing on a package of Twinkies, the Hostess cakes that are an American guilty pleasure.

In Twinkie, Deconstructed, Ettlinger traces the path of each and every listed ingredient and we get to go along on the journey.

There's enough history (of science and food technology as well as social culture) to satisfy the generalist, and enough food trivia to please the most devoted foodie.

It's not all about the Twinkie, but Ettlinger always brings the story back to that end product. What makes it stay soft? Why doesn't it "weep" the oils and fats? Just how many Twinkies are consumed in America each year?

Find out these and other fascinating fact(oids) in the wonderful book. Do you know why Crisco was considered the healthy alternative to butter or lard? And why it suddenly became the leading culprit in the trans-fat discovery? And why Crisco is now "fully hydrogenated?"

By the way, the name Crisco was the result of an employee contest to name it, and it's derived from CRYStallized Cottonseed Oil (from which it is no longer made).

Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger
ISBN 9781594630187 Hudson Street Press, March 2007 (Hardcover) $23.95

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