Childrens book? No so fast. “Yummy,” a bright, kaleidoscopic history of sweets by Victoria Grace Elliott, an artist and writer in Austin, Texas, delivers well-researched capsule histories of world events, back to ancient Egypt, as they pertain to ice cream, cake, pie, cookies and more. It explains the chemistry of leavening and the chilling action of salt with ice, covers trade routes and monarchies, and includes a handful of recipes. Peri, the food sprite who serves as the eye-opening guide, explains the historic, religious and cultural details that should fascinate adults as well as youngsters. A legend about mooncakes, the evolution of kitchen equipment and the histories of the tarte Tatin and Toll House cookie are in the book, making it a great family gift.
“Yummy: A History of Desserts” by Victoria Grace Elliott (Random House Graphic, $19.99)
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