The Philosopher’s Cookbook

CLICK TO BUY: The Philosopher’s Cookbook by Martin Versfeld.

Versfeld, a South African writer, melds cooking and living philosophies in this dreamlike, wandering book of thoughts and foods. The Taster liked it so much, we published an excerpt from his chapter on the sea, and seafood, in our Spring 2014 issue. Try this description of seafood: “Perhaps you have got up, just before daybreak — for fish bite best in the twilight — and tramped barefoot between the water’s edge and the great mounds of uprooted kelp hopping with sandfleas, past the wreckage cast up by the sea: oaken boards, fish baskets, the glassy globes of floats, cordage, tangles of nylon fishing line, sharks’ eggs and jellyfish, the jetsam your subconscious casts up in your dreams.” Come on, that’s practically poetry.

Plus he then gives an intriguing recipe for prawns in mussel sauce.

Further chapters cover, among other things, kitchen utensils, meat, potatoes, food mythology, feasting, curry, herbs & spices, and the excellently-titled A Short Disquisition on Spinach.

Philosophers Cookbook

As in the kitchen, so in life: read this book to achieve a little bit of inner calm, and a new appreciation of soup.

The publisher, Oldcastle Books, has this to say: “Versfeld’s recipes have more of the poet about them than the instructor, they celebrate the complex relationship between humanity and food. The Philosopher’s Cookbook is about the art of slow cooking and thinking about what you are cooking and thinking while you are cooking. The art of preparing and eating food is inextricably intertwined with the meaning of life. There is nothing better than preparing, talking about, philosophising over and finally partaking of slow food and for Versfeld making time for something is an expression of love.
You will feel compelled to share this book with those around you. It will make you hungry; it will make you want to sniff the dirt on fresh vegetables.”

For more by the same publisher, click OldCastle Books

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