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The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue

The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue [Kindle Edition]

David Sax

Kindle-Preis: EUR 13,69 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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"David Sax has written a fascinating and surprising story of why we eat what we eat. It's a tale of overhyped chia seeds, rebranded fish, and unseen influencers. I will never again look at a grocery store aisle or my restaurant entree the same way."--A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy "With forensic specificity, and, better still, a terrific sense of fun, David Sax explains precisely how foods du jour such as cupcakes, Greek yogurt, and Korean tacos 'happened.' The trends may seem silly, but The Tastemakers is not. Sax has given this gastro-exuberant time the whizzy, full-gallop treatment it deserves." --David Kamp, bestselling author of The United States of Arugula


Tastemaker, n. Anyone with the power to make you eat quinoa.

Kale. Spicy sriracha sauce. Honeycrisp apples. Cupcakes. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow cooler. Chia seeds, after a brief life as a novelty houseplant and I Love the ’80s punchline, are suddenly a superfood. Not long ago, that same distinction was held by pomegranate seeds, açai berries, and the fermented drink known as kombucha. So what happened? Did these foods suddenly cease to be healthy a few years ago? And by the way, what exactly is a “superfood” again?

In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate. On his journey, he meets entrepreneurs, chefs, and even data analysts who have made food trends a mission and a business. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and surprising truths about what we eat, how we eat it, and why.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 671 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 338 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1610393155
  • Verlag: PublicAffairs (20. Mai 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #128.609 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  11 Rezensionen
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not quite what I expected 1. Juli 2014
Von Chicago Book Addict - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I was excited to pick up this book because I have a personal interest in food and cooking and also have a history working in marketing on food brands, which has meant first hand experience with food trend spotting. In short, this book seemed made for someone like me. I also read Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, also by David Sax, so I was already familiar with his writing style and voice.

Similar to to Save the Deli, I found the strengths of this book to be the quality of the research and Sax's knack for creative descriptions. I especially love his creative descriptions because I read a lot of food writing, so I appreciate his ability to describe foods and the food scenes in ways I haven't previously heard in other books. And not only do his descriptions feel new, but they do an amazing job of bringing to life what he is talking about. Whenever he was describing a scene in this book I truly felt that he transported me to the middle of it.

That said, my experience with this book was not without issues. Like Save the Deli, my biggest issue was with the overall organization of the book. It really didn't feel like there was a continuous narrative throughout or some kind of structure tying all the pieces together. Because of this, some of the chapters and even paragraphs within the chapters felt disjointed and it interrupted the flow of the book for me.

I also felt like this book was more about telling story of individual trends (i.e. cupcakes, cornets, bacon, etc.) rather than establishing a kind of framework for how food trends form. He does touch on the latter within the individual stories, but not to the degree that I expected. Because of this, it felt like a book that was geared more toward a foodie who likes reading food books for entertainment than someone in the food industry who might be trying to understand the food trend model in order to apply it to their job. It's worth noting because if you are coming to it hoping it will make you better at forecasting food trends, you'll likely walk away disappointed.

Overall I think there is a lot to like about this book, but there are also things holding it back from being more broadly applicable.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book for foodies and trend watchers! 30. Juni 2014
Von Galley Hunter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue, provides an interesting look at food trends, exploring how and why they come about. It is broken up into three parts. Part I deals with the Four Types of Trends, Part II: How Trends Break Out, and Part III: Why Food Trends Matter. I was immediately hooked from the beginning, which explores the cultural trend with talk of my all time favorite dessert, the cupcake. It was fascinating and surprising to learn how cupcakes became so trendy in the U.S. I continued to be curious about the other types of food trends discussed: agriculture, chefs, and health.

I was still very engaged with the book as I began reading the second section (about how trends break out). But somewhere in the midst of part two, the author started to lose me, and my interest began to wane. The research and writing were well executed, but perhaps the book included almost a little too much detail for my taste. Just as I was plugging along through the beginning of part three, and a bit too much detail about Indian food, things really started to lose steam.

I considered tabling the book for awhile, but thankfully the author brought me back around with DC food trucks. Food trucks fascinate me, and DC is just outside my hometown. That section was a definite win for me. Then Sax continued to bounce back into my heart with bacon. My beloved bacon. I pressed on, and enjoyed reading about fondue, and its cycle of popularity. Finally, who could resist the cronut closing? I've yet to try a cronut (a hybrid croissant/doughnut) but the idea delights and intrigues me. Overall, this was an interesting read about food trends, and why we buy the things we do. I'd highly recommend this book to all foodies, as well as those who enjoy research and learning how trends break out.

*Many thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting and insightful 1. Juni 2014
Von OrchidSlayer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Very interesting look at what foods become popular and why. I didn’t realize how much planning went into making something as innocuous as a kind of apple worth more than another variety of apple. I was surprised to actually be interested in pork belly futures. I was given a free e-copy to read on NetGalley a couple of months ago and I am still thinking and talking about it, so much so that I am buying a hard copy to share with friends and to read again. I will probably buy another copy as a gift for a relative who loves marketing. Highly recommended for foodies and those who like marketing or economics.
3.0 von 5 Sternen Fashionable food trends - how one food becomes wildly popular 26. August 2014
Von Tina Culbertson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The Tastemakers by David Saxon was an interesting and humorous read.

This insightful book delved into food crazes and their origins, how the agriculture and marketing parts fit in and how they weave together.

Cupcakes dominate the beginning chapter. I never thought of the reason they seemed so popular these days. In some cases, they are a popular choice for weddings instead of a traditional wedding cake. How does that happen? Well, David Saxon will tell you. It’s a craze that started before Sex in the City (a misconception I had about the cupcake popularity). His research is well done and not a dry recounting of facts. He’s quite humorous actually. As you read about the accidental popularity of the cupcake and it’s rise to fame you’ll find you want one more than ever.

Marketing and business sections explain the economics of bacon. Yes, the meat that has become a star ingredient in its own right in everything from breakfast to dinner to desserts. An explanation of marketing and pork belly futures isn’t boring. Well, not the way Saxon presents it. Usually I hear the word bacon and someone (me included at times) will quote Homer Simpson; “Mmmmmm……..bacon….” in a dreamy tone.

I liked this part in the book where he talks about people embracing a particular food or diet because another culture, who eats XYZ, is healthy and long lived.

“We also buy into a narrative…that simplifies a complicated lifestyle down to a single ingredient. The seductive power of many of these super foods lies in their place in remote, somewhat mystical cultures. Whether it’s the longevity of Greek goat herders, Okinawan fisherman, Amazonian tribesmen, or Mexican tribal joggers, the tremendous difference between their health and ours has a hell of a lot more to do with the fact that we drive cars, sit at computers, and have access to super-sized sodas than the fact that they eat yogurt, salmon, acai, or chia…”

Right?! I am not a goat herder. I drive to work and sit in front of a computer a good portion of my day. While I limit my intake of fast foods and convenience foods, my American lifestyle is vastly different from an Okinawan fisherman. Back when the Mediterranean diet was all the rage there were always the folks who thought adding olive oil and drinking red wine would transform their health and waistline.

This non-fiction appraisal of food trends is an easy read. It also had me go to one of the popular local cupcake shops. Smallcakes in Tallahassee Florida has it going on! They have some amazing cupcakes and different specials every day. After reading The Tastemakers I was aware of 3 different specialty cupcake shops in my area. Didn’t even think about it before reading this book.

Coincidentally, Tallahassee Florida is mentioned in the last chapter where Saxon talks about fondue. The Melting Pot restaurant has been in business here for as long I remember living here. It started in the underground section under a popular seafood/oyster joint called Barnacle Bill’s. Now it’s located in a big stand-alone restaurant on Monroe Street in Tallahassee.

What Saxon write about the fondue restaurant is absolutely true. It seems a by gone fad but it is the place I think of for celebrations and very special events. As our 30th wedding anniversary is approaching (this June) we may just enjoy a long evening at The Melting Pot.

Kudos to David Saxon for producing an informative and enjoyable book about the food fashions and trends. Will have to check out his other books now.
2.0 von 5 Sternen or the what the room looks like where a bunch of vendors are hawking gourmet cheese) 11. August 2014
Von dugreader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I think there is too much scene setting, and description of where the author is experiencing his research (for instance, I am not interested in the meal you are having when someone is hawking rice, or the what the room looks like where a bunch of vendors are hawking gourmet cheese), and not well balanced with the insights, lessons, models of what was being researched.

It's a good book to practice speed reading too. You can avoid digesting much of the fluff, and seek out some interesting details, or insights. I don't usually like to abandon books, but this has become too laborious for my taste (I don't prefer to wait in lines in order to Instagram photos of food, and tell my friends just how much the wait in the long line was justified).
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