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Sunday, September 3, 2017

FOOD MEMOIR: -- APRON STRINGS by Jan Wong (Goose Lane, 2017, 380 pages, $24.95 CAD paperbound)

--APRON STRINGS (Goose Lane, 2017, 380 pages, $24.95 CAD paperbound) is by Jan Wong, an award-winning journalist who has written about food off and on. Her father owned Ruby Foos in Montreal. Here she crafts a memoir with the subtitle "navigating food and family in France, Italy, and China". These three countries excel at daily "haute cuisine" without batting an eye, taking it all in stride. As a true reporter, Jan Wong narrates the memoir of the journey she takes with her 22-year-old son Sam. She's full of observations about the  globalization of food, families and culture. In southeast France, they share with a family sheltering undocumented immigrants; in Italy's slow food country they pick up authenticity of style; in Shanghai they labour in the kitchen with some migrant maids of some of China's "nouveaux riches". As with many mother- son stories there are levels of disagreements, but they both share a central core. There are a dozen recipes per country, but that's not really the point of the memoir. Good stories, compellingly told.

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