Review: Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It

On August 8, 2016 by Dawn

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It
Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It by Larry Olmsted
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, first things first. This isn’t a health food book. If you’re looking for something telling you what is good for you to eat, this is not the book for you. This book is about food counterfeiting, and I’m not talking about fast-food hamburger patties either.

Olmstead instead presents the world with a bible for the would-be Foodie shopping in the American marketplace. Growing up in NY,where we habitually retain links to per-immigration cultures, you learn these things from your neighbors. You know that stuff in the green can isn’t Parmigiana. Many of you know that too. But how many of you knew that most of those pale cream-colored wedges on supermarket shelves aren’t usually either?

It’s Parma ham, because it comes from Parma. We as American consumers don’t always connect the two, as we’re told (and the government insists) that these terms are generic. They aren’t. The effects that make these foods special is in the land they come from itself. The temperature, the microbes, the local yeast cultures… whats called terroir. It makes a difference, and the difference is obvious after a single, simple tasting.

Real Food, Fake Food is an readable handbook on why terroir matters, what it is, and what to look for if you want to try the real thing. Olmstead’s chatty style keeps you engaged and interested, his explanations are clear and avoid meaningless technobabble.

Pick this up for the young cook or foodie in your life. You’ll be opening a door for them, and they’ll love whats on the other side.

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