The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese

by Margaret Hathaway

I got interested in cheese, so when I saw this title on Amazon I immediately wanted to read it.

The truth is, the subtitle is misleading. The book is about goat alright, but cheese doesn’t feature much in the book at all. They did taste a few cheeses, but any mention barely last more than a few lines and the taste comment doesn’t go much beyond a couple of words. Definitely not what I expect from a quest for cheese.

The author and her boyfriend have a sudden “goat fever”, and decided to take a year off on a tour around the country, embarked on a goat odyssey and in general satisfying their love for goat (which includes goat in all forms: from the bleating little kid to the warm cashmere socks to the goat stew). They went to a goat auction, attended a goat convention, watched goat chariot race, spoke to chefs and cheesemakers, visited farms big and small, learned to milk a goat, went on a goat-packing hike and finally had a goat-themed wedding. Most of the time they spent their nights at campsites or bundled up in a sleeping bag inside their cars. For a happy ending, at the end of the year they know what they want. They decided they could no longer go back to their Manhattan urban life. They wanted to be farmers, they wanted their children growing up on a farm.

Theirs is a personal awakening humbly told. They are surprised by how friendly and open these people living in rural area are, and are gradually disarmed and then won over from their urban lifestyle. They had nice jobs in New York, but they yearn for a simpler lifestyle with little want. In this day and age, they are certainly not alone, many people just couldn’t find satisfaction in their high paying and materialistic job. But rare indeed is someone who have their courage to really uproot and follow their dreams.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 2:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Project X Challenger: Cup Noodle

by Tadashi Katoh

I must keep the record straight: I am not a fan of cup noodles. I think they taste awful. I will admit though that I do have ocassional cravings for the instant noodles, for the aroma of freshly cooked ramen, though the taste rarely measures up to the expectation set by the olfactory sense.

Nonetheless, I picked up this graphic novel, just because I am atonished that there is a book about Cup Noodle, and the foodie in me just can’t resist. The book tells of the struggle as the research team strived to create this magic noodle, a food of the new age, a food cultural revolution: a noodle that cooks in three minutes, in its own container, and can be eaten standing up (yeah, that was a sell point). A story that is somewhat interesting though hardly engaging enough.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 1:51 am  Leave a Comment