Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient


Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes
Jennifer McLagan

Winner of the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Single Subject Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, is broken down into five sections,

Introduction: A Matter of Fat
Butter: Worth it
Pork Fat: The king
Poultry Fat: Versatile and good for you
Beef and Lamb Fats: Overlooked but tasty



I, of course, focused on the first chapter, Butter! 

From the book jacket:
For all of history, minus the last thirty years, fat has been at the center of human diets and cultures. When scientists theorized a link between saturated fat and heart disease, industry, media, and government joined forces to label fat a greasy killer, best avoided. But according to Jennifer McLagan, not only is our fat phobia overwrought, it also hasn’t benefited us in any way. Instead it has driven us into the arms of trans fats and refined carbohydrates, and fostered punitive, dreary attitudes toward food–that wellspring of life and pleasure.

In Fat, McLagan sets out with equal parts passion, scholarship, and appetite to win us back to a healthy relationship with animal fats. She starts by defusing fat’s bad rap, both reminding us of what we already know–that fat is fundamental to the flavor of our food–and enlightening us with the many ways fat (yes, even animal fat) is indispensable to our health.

Mostly, though, Fat is about pleasures–the satisfactions of handling good ingredients skillfully, learning the cultural associations of these primal foodstuffs, recollecting and creating personal memories of beloved dishes, and gratifying the palate and the soul with fat’s irreplaceable savor. Fat lavishes the reader with more than 100 recipes from simple to intricate, classic to contemporary.