|W W NORTON & CO|
the guardian Sat 14 February 2009
One positive consequence of the global recession might be that there will be less tolerance for placidly belletristic articles about a simply wonderful meal one once scoffed in a darling little Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy. As well as too many of these, the present collection of New York Times columns by various writers also contains memoir-morsels that are more about places (Paris, New York) or people than about food. The spiciest dishes are Colson Whitehead explaining why he hates ice-cream (he once worked scooping it), and George Saunders's merciless satire of the whole idea, in which he explains his "total cessation of eating" four years previously: "Frankly, with every bite, I felt more and more the oppressor. With every meal I don't eat, I am aware that somewhere a cow or pig, asparagus, broccoli, a waiter, etc, remains undisturbed."