Yummy: The History of Desserts Book Review

Yummy: A History of Desserts (A Graphic Novel): Elliott, Victoria Grace:  9780593124383: Books - Amazon.caRandom House Publishing
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

Everything you want to know about those sweet confectioneries but are afraid to ask is all covered in Yummy: The History of Desserts. This graphic novel by Victoria Grace Elliott was published last year. Although I had a digital copy to read at first, I was also gifted a hardcopy over the holidays. After reading it multiple times, I feel a lot more informed by Peri, a food sprite, giving readers a fairly detailed look about my favourite after dinner treats. She also has fellow fairy type pals assisting.

The first chapter is a solid look at ice cream’s origins. I can’t help but wonder if there are more regional versions because one part of the world–South America–isn’t known for this treat. They are known for Calzone Rotos and Picarones (a version of the doughnut), pies and cookes, but not really anything else. 

Apparently, ice cream’s origins date back to the time of Nero. It would not become the form as we know it today. Even Eliza Leslie offered new ideas, and the technique of forming it with salt and ice is not as old as history thought. The information is all neatly explained in the language of the Sunday funnies–with humour and action. I was ready to dig into a bowl after reading this chapter.

Just as equally satisfying is how some chapters include an Atlas of Cake History, Donuts, Pie, and Cookies. Those are abridged. Also included are how brownies, gummies and macarons are made. Although, given my love for authentic Turkish delights, I’m certain they fall under the category of gummies, since its base is a gelatin. 

One detail I appreciate is a scientific examination of why specific ingredients matter from the guest character, Fada. She’s as amusing as Bill Nye. The interactions with these characters remind me of Phil Foglio‘s work when he drew What’s New? for Dragon Magazine, which explores role playing game culture. Not every chapter has this. When armed with this knowledge, I feel ready to try and come up with the next big sweet myself!

Some readers may well go beyond and look at the bibliography so get a further education. Anyone wanting to pick up this book should check the graphic novel and recipe section of their local bookstore. This book is entertaining and brimming with facts to make it belong in either!


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