I can’t resist memoirs about foodies. I don’t have to even know who they are – if they write about their life with key moments charmed by cooking and good food, I want to read it. Tender at the Bone is the memoir of New York Times food critic, Ruth Reichl.
I knew from the first few pages that I would love this book. She immediately relates a highly improbable story told by her father about her childhood, with the message that a good story is far more important than a true story. She confesses that she embellishes some of the stories in her book, and honestly, it’s so entertaining I don’t mind in the least.
You would think a food critic grew up either a) surrounded by great cooks or b) being served great dishes because their family was rich enough to care about food. But Reichl’s case had neither. She admits her mother was a terrible cook, always throwing dinner parties with “bargain” foods that were more likely to poison her guests than leave them wanting more. But Reichl cared about food, and when any opportunity presented itself to learn about cooking, selecting or eating fine food, Ruth Reichl grabbed on with both hands.
Reichl has obviously lived a remarkable life (even sans embellishments), and that shines in this memoir. I highly recommend Tender at the Bone!
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1999
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