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Piglet Season

It’s Piglet time again!

Food52’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks 2017 kicks off tomorrow morning, posting the first of fifteen judgments that make up the ultimate cookbook face off.

The Piglet isn’t really a tournament about pitting one cookbook against another — although it does. And it’s not about finding some uniform method for judging a cookbook — it certainly doesn’t … one judge may abhor cookbooks with dust jackets, another finds too technical an explanation overwhelming while yet another holds preference on page texture.

This yearly tourney is really all about the books. Learning to love a cookbook you’d otherwise ignore. Finding a cuisine or chef or cooking method that’s new to you.

Every year I come away with a new experience thanks to a book I’d have normally left alone.

Case in point? I just bought Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by chef Vivian Howard.

I wrongfully judged this a book created solely to promote the PBS tv show, A Chef’s Life. The sort of book that “has to” be written … to keep viewers enticed.

I’m such a cynic.

It’s an amazing cookbook. And yes, a way for A Chef’s Life to reach further into our homes, but I find myself feeling less marketed to and rather more “wow! I need to eat this!” Deep Run Roots will certainly give the other Piglet contestants a run for the money.

I’ve got my bracket filled out. I’m ready for first judgment tomorrow morning. I’ll avoid social media, wait until the kids are off to school then enjoy the opening review along with a morning cup of coffee.

It’s a bit of cookbook heaven.

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