‘Fed, White, and Blue’: An exuberant take on American food
Exuberance: noun the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness; ebullience.
The other day, I was asked to photograph a book signing for Food Network star, Simon Majumdar, at the Standard Club in Chicago. He was promoting his latest book, “Fed, White, and Blue: Findng America with My Fork “.
The book signing was in conjunction with a Culinary Fight Club event. Mr. Majumdar was one of the judges.
Mr. Majumdar gave a talk about his experiences traveling and eating his way across America. He is British of Bengali and Welsh descent. Mr. Majumdar recently became an American citizen and lives with his wife in Los Angeles. Though he is British through and through, Mr. Majumdar is proud to be an American.
His motto is, “Go Everywhere, Eat Everything”. And he has. In a previous book, “Eat My Globe,” Mr. Majumdar went everywhere and ate everything.
Exuberance defines his passion for food. He is ebullient when talking about his eating experiences in the United States. He gets excited about the most mundane or common foods like hot dogs. The guy loved Hot Dougs and eats at The Wieners Circle.
This is a man who is passionate about food.
Mr. Majumdar writes about food with the same exuberance he discusses it. “Fed, White, and Blue” is one of the most ebullient books on food and eating. There is passion in every paragraph.
The mark of good writing is, the first sentence is supposed to get you to read the second sentence, and so on. I cannot put this book down.
This is not a book on eating in high end restaurants or hanging out cooking with celebrity chefs and exotic ingredients.
Simon Majumdar sought out all kinds of cuisine in America. He even made sure to find those who hunt and fish for their food. He ate in homes, on beaches, and hole in the wall ethnic joints.
Mark Kurlansky, who wrote “Salt” and “Cod” is a great story teller. James Beard’s American Cookery is well written in the story telling mode. MFK Fisher is still considered one of the best food writers long after her death.
There are numerous books on food, eating, and cooking. Most are great reads. Most lack the passion, excitement, and exuberance Mr. Majumdar brings to his tale. This is a man who loves to eat and cook.
It is apparent, Mr. Majumdar is passionate about his new homeland and its diverse food cultures. He even makes hangovers seem adventurous.
“Fed, White, and Blue,” is a cross country adventure about food. The only thing that matches Mr. Majumdar’s passion are the food and travel essays in Jim Harrison’s “Just Before Dark”.
If you love food. If you love to cook, eat, and drink. If you want to learn what the rest of America eats, you need to read this book.