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Ancient Cultural Cuisines Influence Lia Huber’s “Nourished” Memoir

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(Gerry Furth-Sides, All photos courtesy of Nourished) Connecticut-bred Lia Huber may have grown up with a potato and ship appetite; she even surreptitiously traded veggies for beef with her sister at dinner. But it was the ancient cuisines and the traditions around them of the Greek, Italian, Mexico and Central American villages that influenced her to change to a healthier eating, and a spiritual (and altruistic) lifestyle.

Though claiming to always have been the most passionate diner at table, she is unhappy since her theme is, “Hunger comes to us in many forms; we long to be satisfied not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  Nourished, A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love (with recipes) traces her quest for satisfaction at table, and also to improve her increasingly poor health.

At the same time, Lia earned the reputation of well-respected recipe developer, food & travel writer,  entrepreneur and activist for good health as the admirable CEO of the award-winning Nourish Evolution.  Her accomplishments are many and fearless.  Ever the pragmatist, Lia married a compatible guy also on a spiritual quest.

And so it is through the years that she comes to learn different forms of very natural, organic cooking in different countries including Mexico, Costa Rica, France, Guatemala and Italy – along with Napa.  It is easy to relate to Lia’s astonishment at the simple deep gold yolk of a farm egg in Greece that began this journey.

Yet even with Lia’s detailed journal-like outpourings, it is a mystery why Lia, still needed thousands of miles of travel to realize that eating natural food, more vegetables and grains may be healthier than a high carb, starch diet. Lia never her initial poor eating habits when her financially well-off east coast family had such traditions as preparing made-from-scratch holiday pasta meals, and indulged in cross country visits to Maine for live grilled lobster feasts.


But, it is admirable that Lia follows through on her strong  instincts and inclinations with drive, determination and sheer guts,  he (literally) rocky 8,000 mile road trip to Central America being only one of these adventure.  As a college grad, she  cooks with a Corfu family at home and for their souvlaki stand.  She lands her first job by following up a casual meeting at a conference with Bruce Aidells.  (I think) she learns three languages!

 

The novel Pastel Imposible (Impossible Cake)

This is not a book like Eat, Pray, Love, with an arc and a focus, in which you root for a happy ending.  Doubting herself is second nature to Huber through to the end.

Written recipes are tucked into the end of each chapter. A middle section with recipes and photos would be welcome.

Huber’s writing starts out unevenly, with an unsettling penchant for comparisons. By her tale’s end, however, her writing is smooth, glossy.   Describing Oaxaca-style mole, she writes, “one bite tasted like chocolate, the next like cinnamon, the next tobacco.  Yet it was lighter and thinner in consistency than any other mole I’d had.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Author
Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.