Appropriate to the weekend a new book from the 99Pages publishing house from Hamburg reached me: Habemus Pasta. The Noodle Bible.
The concept of 99Pages is actually quite exciting: The product plate is diverse and yet follows one concept: to convey everything there is to know about a topic in a classy design on 99 pages. On 99 pages, the content is compressed to suit modern reading habits.
Books are created that are not so easily categorized. Gourmet breviaries with historical background. Technology books with lifestyle appeal. Design bibles with a smile effect.
This basic idea could work out quite excellently, if it weren’t for the one last sentence: design bibles with a smirk effect.
But, first the positive about the new book: it has gathered or recreated some really interesting pasta recipes. In particular, the combinations with fish sometimes read promising. Of course, this is no coincidence, but achievement of Manuel Weyer (head of the Johann Lafer cooking school), who is responsible for the recipes.
But back to the concept of the book and the desired smiling effect. Unfortunately, this did not occur to me at all in connection with the cooking bible. A slight frown, perhaps. The publisher eloquently advertises the book as follows: Those expecting an earthly cookbook will be disappointed in the following pages. Habemus Pasta is actually out of this world. Not of this world can also mean not quite normal.
Obviously, collages have been a big design topic in recent months – but only if they are really well done. In complete rapture before the self-created decree of funniness, it seems as if the illustrations had to subordinate themselves to it in the very first lines. And this rigid adherence to the concept runs through the entire Habemus Pasta, because even the names of the recipes follow funny titles, á la “Bis der Sud Euch scheidet”, “Wer’s Kaut, wir seelig”, “Befleckte Empfängnis” and so on. Whereas funny meant is in many cases the opposite of funny made.
The idea is clearly recognizable, as is the consistency with which it is implemented. Presumably there is also an interested group of buyers for exactly this kind of books, but I somehow don’t belong to it…