Review: Who Cooked The Last Supper?

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Who Cooked the Last Supper?

★★★★½

2001 (originally 1988) • 352 pages • Broadway Books

Who Cooked the Last Supper? is not the original title of Rosalind Mile’s formative women’s history text; that would be the American subtitle, The Women’s History of the World. For some reason, her publisher thought that American audiences would rather a slightly less dry title, even if the women who provided the Last Supper are not discussed in specifics (although they’re certainly covered in the abstract.) For some, this might be a turn-off, but I am of the opinion that whatever gets it into as many hands as possible is perfectly fine. (Nobody gets shamed for reading in this house.)

What that title also does is get across Miles’ quietly furious and deeply arch tone, with increasingly clever and occasionally vulgar punning as she digs deep into the last two hundred years of women’s history. I’m tempted to compare it to Bill Bryson’s affable and cozy work, but I find his humor frustratingly heteronormative, and he completely lacks Miles’ righteous and incandescent anger that boils over from time to time, especially in the later chapters. Miles knows her stuff so well that she’s able to find the humanity, humor, and outrage in all of these facts.

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Review: The Whole Fromage

The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison

lisonwholefromage

Oh, to be French and lactose intolerant. Luckily, I see my lone dietary restriction as a hearty challenge to see what diary products are worth suffering the slings and arrows of indigestion for. Milk? Not so much. Baked Brie? Pass me the Lactaid. Lately, while I’ve been cooling my heels in my hometown between academic gigs, I’ve been spending every Saturday morning at our farmer’s market with my mother and mainlining Capra Gia goat cheese. Goat milk is actually easier for people like me to digest, and it is also delicious. When I saw an entire book about not only cheese, but French cheese, I knew I had to honor the motherland and my newfound adoration of goat cheese. (She makes this cranberry chevre that is just… oh man…)

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