The Epicurean Collector
by Patrick Dunne and the Editors of Southern Accents
Bulfinch Press, 180 pages
When I married my husband, I acquired saltcellars, fish serving pieces, sugar tongs and pickle forks. All these special implements were distinctly foreign to my simpler table experience and a bit daunting.
But I was intrigued and over the years, I have come to admire and covet even more esoteric silver service pieces. If I haven't found a source to educate me previously, I've now come upon it with The Epicurean Collector. It's an elegantly written history, recalling and reflecting the ages that have produced these culinary tools.
Dunne's essays which appeared in Southern Accents magazine over five years are, in his words,
...Hearthside gossip mean to arouse reveries like an aroma, suggestive but insubstantial... Gustatory tastes do not collapse with empires; they alter with availability of ingredients, the whimsy of fashion, and the confidence of cooks. The palate is our most conservative instrument; its judgments and desires change only reluctantly and slowly.