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Sesana

Sesana

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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Siege
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Unmentionable Cuisine - Calvin W. Schwabe I can't emphasize enough that this book is not for vegetarians, or the squeamish. It's a cookbook, filled entirely with recipes for animal food sources that Americans don't routinely eat. That doesn't mean just edible animals that aren't part of the regular diet, but specific animal parts that aren't normally eaten, mostly offal.

The author seems to sincerely believe that eating more offal is the answer to all manner of hunger-related problems. I'm not really qualified to argue with him, other than to point out that he completely ignores vegetarians and is awfully contemptuous towards those with a religiously prescribed diet. I was hoping for some sociological analysis of why these foods are avoided, but there's basically none, just repeated assertions that people don't eat this, but they should.

This was originally published in 1979, so there are a few places that the information is dated. There are recipes for turtles and sharks in here, for example. (The author said in the introduction that he was avoiding threatened animals in the book.) Also, my experience suggests that people are way less reluctant to eat venison, for example, than he states. But some things are timeless, such as the fact that if somebody told me that the taco I'd just finished contained brains (as the author suggests), we would have some very heated words.

One last thing. Several times, the author discusses an invasive animal species as a potential food source. Presumably, eating them would control their population. This seemed kind of dubious to me. Wouldn't making them yummy food encourage population growth?