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The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue by [Sax, David]
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The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description


“Sax has done his homework—and probably put on a few pounds. A solid overview of trendsetting foods brought to life with colorful examples.”

“Sax declares, food trends, though sometimes annoying, deepen and expand our cultural palate, spur economic growth, provide broad variety in our diets, and promote happiness.”
Publishers Weekly

“David Sax has written a fascinating and surprising story of why we eat what we eat. It’s a tale of overhyped chia seeds, rebranded fish, and unseen influencers. I will never again look at a grocery store aisle or my restaurant entree the same way.”
—A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy

“With forensic specificity, and, better still, a terrific sense of fun, David Sax explains precisely how foods du jour such as cupcakes, Greek yogurt, and Korean tacos ‘happened.’ The trends may seem silly, but The Tastemakers is not. Sax has given this gastro-exuberant time the whizzy, full-gallop treatment it deserves.”
—David Kamp, bestselling author of The United States of Arugula

“They say there’s no accounting for taste, but David Sax makes sense of the mysterious forces that shape our personal food preferences, through stories so absorbing and witty that I wasn’t even sorry to discover that my taste buds are hardly my own. I devoured The Tastemakers like an oat bran muffin in 1989—or a chia-seed muffin today.”
—Karen Leibowitz, author of Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant

Product Description

Tastemaker, n. Anyone with the power to make you eat quinoa.

Kale. Spicy sriracha sauce. Honeycrisp apples. Cupcakes. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow cooler. Chia seeds, after a brief life as a novelty houseplant and I Love the ’80s punchline, are suddenly a superfood. Not long ago, that same distinction was held by pomegranate seeds, açai berries, and the fermented drink known as kombucha. So what happened? Did these foods suddenly cease to be healthy a few years ago? And by the way, what exactly is a “superfood” again?

In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate. On his journey, he meets entrepreneurs, chefs, and even data analysts who have made food trends a mission and a business. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and surprising truths about what we eat, how we eat it, and why.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4640 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (May 27 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
3.5 Stars...

Breathe a sigh of relief: David Sax makes it clear that his new book aims to examine the rise and decline of food trends while neither creating guilt nor encouraging a "healthier" lifestyle. His refreshing approach of discussing food without diet counselling allows the reader to appreciate the author's careful, detailed study of why industry fads blossom and wane.

Sax divides "The Tastemakers" into three parts, the first of which describes the four types of trends: cultural (sex appeal), agricultural, chef-driven and health-driven. Here, Sax’s personal interactions with each participant in this sequence offer fascinating insider information and lend credibility to his analysis. Part II studies the most intriguing aspect of food trends: how they become part of our lives. Sax challenges the notion that fads catch on randomly by peering into the food company board room, in which corporate honchos meticulously consider data collected on consumer habits before developing a new product. Devious marketing ploys admit certain foods to the "cool club," guaranteeing that we devour them as if they're going out of style. Finally, part III discusses the demise of food trends such as fondue. Sax also explores political issues, delving into food truck wars and municipal legislation.

Unfortunately, "The Tastemakers" suffers from occasional gender stereotypes. A male grain grower comes across as as a warrior who paddles a canoe into alligator-infested waters to hand-harvest rice whereas Sax describes a female goat-herder and artisanal caramel maker as “a slender, freckly redhead with J. Crew catalog looks,” who is lucky enough to sport an “equally hunky husband.
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By Vlad Thelad TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 4 2015
Format: Hardcover
Those who know me know I am a foodie. So, I picked up this book quite prepared to find all foodies exposed as the easily manipulated bunch following food fads at the whim of “tastemakers.” But this book is no conspiracy theory exposé, or account of evil corporate forces behind what we eat. This is a very well-researched and well-presented overview of what lies behind any given food trend. Written in a personable and very accessible manner, Sax explores the life cycles of various eating preferences in North America and delivers an informative and entertaining text, which will certainly cater to the curiosity of any pork belly, kale and kimchi enthusiast. Sax has found a niche, and is good at it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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