CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Have you read the one about the tequila diet?

Published 12:02 am Monday, August 22, 2022

Foodie books from a crime novel to a flavorful add-in make this week’s culinary topics.

Let’s start with blue agave, which plays well our “diet” book.

Maverick Spirits – Puro San Antonio is noted on an artistic bottle of noble blue agave blanco. It’s a fine smooth selection from a variety of Texas-proud blends.

Scents of dry wine, apple blossom, roasted agave and white pepper fill the glass. The “lush mouthfeel” is mixing with fresh sliced peaches someone gifted me.

A copper hybrid pot still is making agave spirits in Texas, because what is called Tequila must be made in Mexico. Now both regions can be proud of their flavors.

Fly your Texas flag and put your boots up for sips of this Maverick. Learn more at maverickwhiskey.com.

Now, the books:

“The Tequila Diet” began when Chef Dave Martin from Bravo’s “Top Chef” returned from Italy and switched from wine to tequila and dropped pounds. His exploration began and now he presents hints of the concoction in pineapple salsa, Anejo Caramel Sauce and sauces will transport you to Mexico.

Birria, fajita, queso fundido, rices and tortilla casserole make this diet. I love the pickled carrots, onion and jalapeno I find in some restaurants and now I can make my own, with tequila in the mix.

Playing with your food is Marie Saba’s calling. “Don’t Worry, Be Ha ‘pea’” is her book of 101 Deliciously Clever Food Puns. It’s whimsical and downright playful, says “Bon Appetit,” and me. Imagine alphabet cereal letters spelling out most of a phrase and a photo of an actual foodstuff rounding out the whimsy.

That’s how we get phrases like “Don’t go ‘bacon’ my heart” an “You’ve got ‘kale.’” I think I’ve seen “Planet of the ‘grapes’ “ and “Okra’ Winfrey,” that’s just a give away. Saba’s humor is like my husband’s. He can’t break from the Oprah-Okra connection.

“The Fragrance of Death” – Chef Sally’s latest adventure opens at an artichoke festival booth. She’s lost her sense of smell and taste. Not good for a chef. Then her booth neighbor turns up dead. She grew up with his sister. I love all the cooking and dining references in Leslie Karst’s story. There’s her new cop boyfriend, family Italian dinners, vineyard adventure… I’m not done with this book. I’m savoring it.

“BOSH on a Budget” – Not much in the kitchens of Henry Firth and Ian Theasby look like mine. I have a can of jackfruit on hand, but I wasn’t thinking of making larb. And shiro wat & one-day injera is new to me. Curry combos are exciting to me. They serve them weekly. The pair are international best sellers and this book came from baking lockdown loaves and battling rising grocery prices.

Just like a few of their dishes, they are new to me. Personable, talented and creative, this pair is having fun in the kitchen. Salted Caramel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Turkish-Style Pizza and Bombay Potato Salad are some dishes that look fancy but will help you keep cash in your pocketbook. Did I mention these are “Big Flavors” and “All Plants?” They’re all tempting. Think back to what “pennies a serving” looked like when many of us were younger. These plated dishes look like full out gourmet spreads.

Picture This: You’re playing “The Photography Trivia Deck” from a cute box that looks like a little camera. You could keep score with friends, but it could be more fun to recall your high school days with a Pentax and the pungent charm of the darkroom.

What’s the name of Switzerland’s museum devoted entirely to photography?

Museum of de l’Elysée.

When was Nessie photographed?

1934.

There are all manner of photo topics related to art, technology, etc. As much as you think you know, you’ll probably get answers to questions you didn’t know you had. We go back in history and let’s face it. Now “Instagram” has had history. Prep to be up on this fun game. Darcy Reed gives us this selection from rockynook.com.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie “booking it” to her reading chair. Share your finds with her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com.