My First Popsicle: An Anthology of Food and Feelings

Penguin. Nov. 2022. 304p. ed. by Zosia Mamet. ISBN 9780143137290. $26. LIT
Inspired by a video of her friend’s child experiencing a popsicle for the first time, actress Mamet assembled an eclectic group of artists, authors, chefs, and more to contribute essays on food and the memories and emotions we associate with it. The essays evoke painful tales of disordered eating, childhoods with food and without, entering adulthood and the daunting task of cooking for yourself, relationships ending, and relationships beginning. Each piece explores how food is tied to important moments in our lives. Patti Smith shares the “poor man’s cake” her mom scraped together when they were low on food, creating happy memories and hiding the financial scare. Richard Shepard recounts a special trip to Japan to experience Sukiyabashi Jiro’s renowned sushi that he almost couldn’t enjoy because of nerves. Kwame Onwuachi shares the recipe for a delicious veal blanquette that he enjoyed after a date stood him up. Mamet shares how her grandmother’s plum pudding served as an escape during a difficult childhood. Each essay showcases the powerful connection between our emotions and food.
VERDICT Recommended for lovers of food and essays.
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