Thursday, October 22, 2015

EBook Review: Prison Ramen

A unique and edgy cookbook, Prison Ramen takes readers behind bars with more than 65 ramen recipes and stories of prison life from the inmate/cooks who devised them, including celebrities like Slash from Guns n’ Roses and the actor Shia LaBeouf.
Instant ramen is a ubiquitous food, beloved by anyone looking for a cheap, tasty bite—including prisoners, who buy it at the commissary and use it as the building block for all sorts of meals. Think of this as a unique cookbook of ramen hacks. Here’s Ramen Goulash. Black Bean Ramen. Onion Tortilla Ramen Soup. The Jailhouse Hole Burrito. Orange Porkies—chili ramen plus white rice plus ½ bag of pork skins plus orange-flavored punch. Ramen Nuggets. Slash’s J-Walking Ramen (with scallions, Sriracha hot sauce, and minced pork).
Coauthors Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez and Clifton Collins Jr. are childhood friends—one an ex-con, now free and living in Mexico, and the other a highly successful Hollywood character actor who’s enlisted friends and celebrities to contribute their recipes and stories. Forget flowery writing about precious, organic ingredients—these stories are a first-person, firsthand look inside prison life, a scared-straight reality to complement the offbeat recipes.

My Review:

So I happen to know a friend who has been to our local county jail a couple of times. You can imagine how awkward it was for me to ask "Hey, can I ask you some things about jail food because this seems kind of crazy."

Fortunately he agreed, and assured me that Ramen Tamales are an actual thing, as are 'nuts to butts'. I also heard a few stories about jail that are pretty much only funny in retrospect, but still good stories. 

What I like about this book is that it's not just a recipe book. A prison recipe book with no context is boring. But the authors give us context in the form of a story before every recipe, Yeah, there are also letters and things from a few celebrities, but it doesn't need them. The stories and recipes stand on their own.

Overall: I'm still scared to give it as a gift for fear of being offensive, BUT I will definitely be buying it for a few high school grads I know who have never been to prison but will most likely be living off Ramen for a couple of years.

A big thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review

No comments:

Post a Comment