Not counting my repurchased copy of Good Omens procured from Goodwill, this may be my favorite book bought for a dollar. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I’m also not confused how it ended up in the dollar bin. This thing may have sprung fully formed from my mind, it’s so weirdly tailored to my interests.
The book explores the nature of food related trends – as the tag line says, “why we’re crazy about cupcakes but fed up with fondue” – and the means by which ingredients, cooking styles, and chefs suddenly become trendy. We all know cupcakes had a moment, but the book follows the pop cultural contributions and food trend history that allowed the trend to hit a tipping point. If muffins hadn’t had a Renaissance, there wouldn’t have been so many muffin tins prompting bakers to make use of leftover cake batter for cupcakes. Without those small sized treats, people might not have given in to small indulgences, which then wouldn’t have been a signifier of the good life, then used to imply decadence on Sex and the City. Then there would have been nothing for suburban women to adopt to emulate the bon vivants of the show without paying for jimmy choo pumps, a la the cosmopolitan. And this is just cupcakes.
Anyway, if you’re interested in the book, give it a shot beyond the first chapter, which was a little fluffy, but I definitely recommend it if you’re the exact type of weird I am and the premise is appealing.