"Jennifer McLagan's cookbooks are joyously contrarian affairs. In 2005, she published the finger-licking and terrific 'Bones.' Now she has 'Fat.' It's a rollicking journey through the kingdom of unrepentant, glorious, and filthy rich fat. McLagan has a superb sense of balance on the plate; she knows how to use bitter greens, bright acids, sharp-tasting herbs to cut the overwhelming decadence of fat. "
— The Boston Globe
"It's a brave woman who, in these dietarily correct times, not only writes a book called Fat, but has on its cover an edifice of raw cutlets, their glossy red flesh flanked with a thick white stripe of the stuff. But this is surely a book worth writing; it is certainly a book worth reading. I loved Jennifer McLagan's first book, Bones, and this follow-up is no disappointment. The recipes are fabulously greed-inducing (grilled steak with red wine sauce and bone marrow, lard-fried choux paste beignets, salted butter tart are top of my to-do list right now) the writing, while it has a light touch, is firm and compelling. In the gentlest possible way, she not so much defends her subject, as champions it - and with charm and elegance to boot. As the introduction promises: This is not simply a cookbook. These pages are larded with the history and culture of fat...."
— Nigella Lawson
For all of history, minus the last thirty years, fat has been at the center of human diets and cultures. When scientists theorized a link between saturated fat and heart disease, industry, media, and government joined forces to label fat a greasy killer, best avoided. But according to Jennifer McLagan, not only is our fat phobia overwrought, it also hasn’t benefited us in any way. Instead it has driven us into the arms of trans fats and refined carbohydrates, and fostered punitive, dreary attitudes toward food–that wellspring of life and pleasure. In Fat, McLagan sets out with equal parts passion, scholarship, and appetite to win us back to a healthy relationship with animal fats. She starts by defusing fat’s bad rap, both reminding us of what we already know–that fat is fundamental to the flavor of our food–and enlightening us with the many ways fat (yes, even animal fat) is indispensable to our health. Mostly, though, Fat is about pleasures–the satisfactions of handling good ingredients skillfully, learning the cultural associations of these primal foodstuffs, recollecting and creating personal memories of beloved dishes, and gratifying the palate and the soul with fat’s irreplaceable savor. Fat lavishes the reader with recipes from simple to intricate, classic to contemporary.