Friday, October 21, 2011
Garlic and Sapphires
By Ruth Reichl
When Ruth Reichl accepted the position of restaurant critic at The New York Times, she soon found out that the local restaurants were ready and waiting, with photos posted and staff briefings. The key to reviewing restaurants is to be anonymous, so they can't put their best face on for the critic. So Reichl came up with a strategy: disguises.
With the help of a couple of experts, she developed some characters to hide her true identity behind. First was Molly, a rather staid, older woman. And Brenda, a flamboyant and kind-hearted redhead. And the woman in tweed, who didn't have a kind word for anyone. The disguises worked and Reichl was able to give honest and impartial reviews of area restaurants. But after awhile, she began to question herself and wonder about all these strange women lurking inside her own head.
After reading Reichl's book, I know that she would eat almost anything. She would probably eat a pig fetus. In fact, I bet she has eaten pig fetus and loved it! I bet she has eaten those unhatched ducklings still in the shell and raved about how their little bones cracked between her teeth. But even though her very evocative descriptions of the food she ate left me unmoved I still enjoyed this book very much.