Review: Food Porn Daily

by Madeline Shores

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“Food Porn.” The 14-year-old boy in me is giggling, but the 82-year-old woman of my future is blushing a deep crimson and turning her eyes to the floor. My current self is happy to say food porn over and over as I turn the pages of this cookbook. The food is sexy, tantalizing and arouses a desire to…eat.

Food Porn Daily: The Cookbook is the creation of Amanda Simpson. She and her best friend, Tyler Durrett, released FoodPornDaily.com in 2008. They provide at least one high-resolution photo of delicious food daily, and the site has been wildly successful with an average of 50,000 hits per day. As they say, “The purpose of food porn is to get your [salivary gland] juices flowing,” and they hope their photos will inspire your cooking. The recipes are secondary to the food porn experience, and thus not necessarily available on the website. However, after countless requests for recipes of featured photos, Simpson has responded.

This cookbook isn’t full of sentimental stories and detailed accounts of the recipes’ origins; it doesn’t need to be. The full-page photos that accompany each recipe tell the story. The Food Porn Daily motto is “Click, Drool, Repeat.” Amanda suggests “Flip, Drool, Cook, Eat, Repeat,” for the book, and drool-inducing it is. The images are close enough to capture every tiny crumb and drop of moisture, and they trigger a happy hunger to which anyone with an appetite would succumb.

Many people agree that even great albums have a song worth skipping over. The same is often true of cookbooks; not every recipe sends me running to the kitchen. So I was surprised as I slowly turned the pages of Food Porn and found myself craving every morsel I encountered. Another exciting feature (although not to some) is the number of components in each recipe. Simpson’s background in restaurant kitchens shines through, as each dish is a complete presentation. For the Moroccan New York Strip Kebabs, you’ll find recipes for the Marinade, Couscous, Roasted Carrot Sauce and Preserved Lemon-Olive Garnish.

The book is divided into seasons and then into Openers, Mains, Breakfast, Desserts, and Drinks. The dishes are geared to not only what’s fresh at the market, but also the food we yearn for as the seasons evolve. There are burgers, tacos, grilled meats and veggies in the summer, and lasagna, macaroni and cheese and long braises in the winter. The book’s biggest downfall is the lack of yields at the start of the recipe, but they are usually found after reading through the text.

The Tandoori Chicken and Yogurt-Cilantro Chutney had a lengthy list of ingredients, but the method was easy to follow and came together easily. The result was as appetizing as its photo said it would be. But the recipe that made me anxious to cook even more: Brown Butter, Pine Nut & Date Blondies with Date Cream Cheese Ice Cream and a drizzle of Date & Balsamic Reduction. A mouthful to say, but who cares when each bite tastes so good.

Review by Caroline Ford

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