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The Gallery of Regrettable Food

1 rating: 1.0
A book by James Lileks

Adult/High School-Ketchup Pistachio Cake. Meat Pie with Meat Crust. Baked Peppers with Creamy Marshmallow Sauce. Daring readers will come face to face with these and worse in this excellent book that's bursting with photographs, recipes, and bits of … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: James Lileks
Genre: Entertainment, Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
1 review about The Gallery of Regrettable Food

Some pretty darn easy targets

  • Jul 22, 2002
You gotta wonder who ever believed some of the monstrosities featured in this book were appetizing. I mean, I understand why the simplicity and undoubted uniqueness of many of these recipes would appeal to housewives of the 1950s and 60s, trying to find some way to liven up their suburban ramblers come dinnertime. But still, Mary Margaret McBride's Link Loaf (p. 70), the Veal Ring Salad (p. 138), and the whole Cooking With Ketchup section (pp. 101-8) are just plain revolting. There are no two ways about it.

Still, there's no arguing about taste ... and I guess that applies as much to book reviews as to cooking. This book is entertaining (and disturbing) enough, but seldom did I find it really, really funny. The premise is pretty clear: find a photo of a disgusting piece of food and make self-consciously funny comments about it. Vary that by sometimes excerpting old cookbook or recipe copy, and then make self-consciously funny comments about that, too. Sure is cool to live in the sophisticated and ironic *now* instead of the dull and conformist *then*. It's a very MST3K approach to entertainment -- but as much as I dearly love MST, I'm not convinced the approach works equally well on every possible medium or subject.

Many reviews have pointed to the author's web site, where a great deal of funny material resides (I've been there too). For some reason, it seems to work better there.

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