Mouth Wide Open

Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction; Author: John Thorne; Publisher: North Point Press

John Thorne would have relished the irony of Kraft cream cheese in an heirloom recipe found in Laura Schenone’s culinary memoir, The Lost Recipes of Hoboken. For Thorne, if a lowbrow product tastes good, screw ”authenticity.” As he did in four previous food books, in Mouth Wide Open Thorne weaves together autobiographical snippets with erudite ruminations on his weirdly compelling kitchen adventures, like, say, the invention of a cilantro sandwich. You may disagree with Thorne (”Your heart has to warm to a canned soup these days with a touch of lard in the formula”) and occasionally want to feed his book down the disposal. But you’ll fish it out again, for few contemporary food writers are this ornery and original. B+

Originally posted November 9 2007 — 12:00 AM EST

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