When it comes to how I cook and shop for food today, there has been two major inspirations. If you have read a few posts on my website you might get the idea that I am an Alton Brown fan. His show, Good Eats, is what really inspired me to take another look at what I was eating. But Alton wasn't only. I also gained a lot of knowledge from the book "Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating" by Ari Weinzweig. Zingerman's is a famous deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan (just a short drive from my house). They aren't just a deli though, they have a creamery, bakehouse, roadhouse (a sit down restaurant), and a very popular mail order service. Ari Weinzweig is the founder of Zingerman's and the author of this great book. This is one book I think every food lover should read. It truly is what it says it is, a guide to good eating. Ari is all about quality. He uses quality ingredients in everything he makes. That doesn't mean cheap, so Zingerman's is not the place to go with you are on a rice and beans budget (although he could tell you the best rice and beans to get!). The book itself is covers a wide range of topics from: oils, vinegars, cheeses, grains, rices, meat, fish, seasonings, honey, vanilla, chocolate, and tea. Ari tells you what it the best of each of these foods and how to shop for them. He also includes one hundred recipes, so you can utilize those quality ingredients. The book is truly a fun read, with color characters, background stories, and history.
The most valuable lesson I learned from this book is a simple one. Good pasta tastes good. I normally bought the cheapest thing I could find, but when you spend a little extra money for a higher quality pasta, you will know the difference. A lot of the lessons of this book are simple like that, but just might not have been something you thought of. That is why I recommend this book to anyone no matter what their level of experience or talent in the kitchen is.