Jampacked: for the love of food

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I love food. 

But I don't just love food - I love the celebration of it, the ceremony of sharing it, and the oh-so-beautiful colours, textures and tastes of it. I love how it brings people together, and how the value of food is so much more than the sum of its ingredients.

Food, for me, is a celebration of your senses . It is an edible form of art that delights your sight, your smell, your taste, your touch - and sometimes, even your ears as you crunch (or dine in a Heston Blumenthal restaurant).

I'm not really a beans-on-toast kind of girl.That's not to say that beans-on-toast doesn't have a very special place in the culinary world (in our house, it falls under "comfort food" or "I'm too tired to cook and this is what you're getting for dinner" food); it's just that I'd be infinitely happier cooking straight from fresh produce than from something that came out of a can.

And that's what it's all about: the happiness of food. The specialness of food.

And that's what I love about Tina Bester, and her books.

My lovely friend Anne sent me Tina's latest book all the way from Sunny South Africa, where Tina works as the Queen of Tarts.

The book, Jampacked, is a celebration of food in all of its colour, texture and combinations. It's a feast for the eyes.

I love recipe books with beautiful images that inspire you to get your apron on and get mixing in the kitchen. 

With traditional recipes, and some new ones I'd never even thought of before, this little book is now one of my favourites. I get it down off of my shelf when I feel like a bit of foodie inspiration. 

And, it doesn't hurt that the designer in me is absolutely smitten with the fonts, the layout and the simplicity of the combinations. I mostly flick through the pages and admire the photography, and the way that very familiar things suddenly look like gourmet extravagances. Tomato Sauce? Bellissimo!

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