Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; June Jo Lee
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Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2022
Publisher Spotlight, Readers to Eaters
From the award-winning authors of Sibert Honor Book Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix comes a picture-book biography of world-renowned fermentation expert Sandor Katz.
Sandor Katz’s love of fermented food started with kosher dill pickles he ate as a New York City kid. As an adult, he left the busy city and moved to a queer community in the mountains of Tennessee. There, his friends grew their own food, cooked and ate together, and sometimes danced in drag when the work was done. One day, the cabbages were all, ALL ready to be harvested. What to do? Sandor tried to make sauerkraut. Delicious! He kept experimenting, finding old recipes, combining old ideas to make something new. Then, he shared what he learned in bestselling books, in classes, and with a growing group of friends around the world.
Written by award-winning authors Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild folds timely themes of ecology, community-building, and resilience into a lively biography that closes with a hands-on recipe: just chop, salt, pack, and wait for tiny, wild, invisible microbes to turn raw ingredients into zingy, zangy foods that we love. Sandor believes that making fermented foods connects all, ALL of us on planet Earth—people, plants, and The Tiny Wild. Won't you join Sandor’s crew and share your own dash of dazzle with the world?
Average rating from 3 members
This book is a great example of how the various parts of a book--art, words, and book design--come together to create an informative and enjoyable reading experience. For me, much of the content was new. While I knew about the benefits of eating fermented foods, I did not know about Sandor Katz or that different varieties of fermented foods he created. I also appreciate the clever writing, Here's an example: "Cross the cricket-crockety porch into a kitchen of curious people tasting fizzy, flunky, and sometimes furry flavors." There's a lot more in the book. As I read, new vocabulary was introduced so that the reader could easily integrate it with the text. The illustrations are colorful, varied, and informative. The back matter includes notes from the two co-authors, the illustrator, and Sandor Katz as well as photographs, and a listing of additional resources, Overall, this is a great example of an outstanding informative picture book.
This is a brightly illustrated children's book that introduces kids to Wild Fermentation guru Sandor Katz. They find out about his history in NYC and his HIV diagnosis in 1991, when he moved to an off-grid regenerative compound in Tennessee with other LGBTQ folks, eventually taking up fermentation to deal with a surplus of cabbage and a love of the taste of fermented foods. The end gives kids a recipe to make their own spiced kraut (they pick the spices) and gives a little more info on fermentation. Kudos to the casual, positive inclusion of sometimes-taboo topics like friends doing drag after the work is done on the farm, the AIDS crisis and queer folks.
I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild brings lots of information about food and making fermented foods. I learned a lot about using microbes in no-heat cooking. The illustrations were fun, and I appreciated the inclusion of Sandor going to a queer community. I loved all the different types of food that use fermentation across the world.
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