In A Nutshell
Title: In Memory of Bread: A Memoir
Author: Paul Graham
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Date of Publication: June 7, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Very few of us get through life without having to give up something we love – sometimes it’s a person, a pet and for others it’s a way of life, or food. For Paul Graham, it was anything with gluten and it happened suddenly. This is the story of his love affair with all thing glutenous and the horror of having to give it all up.
There’s some great information on Western Civilization’s dependency on wheat and how it got that way. There’s some great philosophical discussion on whether bread is bread without wheat. As someone with a life-long wheat allergy (not the same thing as Paul Graham’s celiac disease), I found this very interesting. But perhaps because of my health history, I found it difficult to sympathize with his woe-is-me attitude at having to give up bread and beer. I was more interested in his quest for finding other exciting cuisines and foods. Had there been more about the quest and less about his addiction to all things glutenous, I would have rated this much higher. I found it difficult to understand why he would want to eat something that made him so terribly sick. My symptoms with my allergies are much different, but I sure don’t want to do anything I know will make me so bad I could end up in a hospital.
The term addiction is mine because it seemed throughout the memoir that it is a daily struggle to avoid gluten. Perhaps this is how one should deal with the necessity of giving up a food one finds is as much a part of someone’s life as the author does with gluten.
Very well-written and very readable.
Have a great week!