Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Tastemakers - David Sax

The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with FondueMy name is Chelsea, and I'm crazy about cupcakes.  It's true.  As a resident of Washington, DC, I am one of the people absolutely mad for Georgetown Cupcakes, one of the many cupcakeries mentioned in The Tastemakers.  On the other hand, I'm not "fed up with fondue," as the rest of the subtitle would insinuate.  Granted, I don't think I've had fondue on many occasions, but I'm not fed up with it.  It's fun.  We should call it fundue!  Haha.  I am 100% positive no one has ever made that joke before.  However, apparently a lot of people are fed up with fondue, and The Tastemakers tries to explain why.

Sax dives into a lot of the reasons foods become trends, from pop-culture appeal (cupcakes appearing on Sex and the City) to money (bacon is a huge industry) to health appeals, true or not (acai and chia, anyone?).  While the concepts are interesting, the book itself didn't really capture my interest.  I thought Sax's writing could trend purple and a lot of the time he lost my attention as he wandered off on philosophical bents that weren't exactly on-topic.  While anecdotes about the author's childhood can add to some aspects of a book, I thought Sax went overboard, feeling the need to shoehorn mini-memoirs into every aspect of Tastemakers.  I also thought this book would dive more into why people like foods for the foods themselves, but instead it's completely about how we are manipulated into liking certain foods by different industries.  I understand that industries do manipulate us into liking different foods (I read Salt, Sugar, Fat a couple of winters ago, and a finer example of food-industry manipulation there cannot be) but I though Tastemakers would be a little different.  The diverse focus of foods was good, but overall I found that Sax couldn't hold my attention.  I put this book down almost constantly to read other things, which never happens with food books.  An intriguing concept this was, but I found it just didn't live up to my tastes or expectations.

2 stars out of 5.

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