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 Post subject: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:34 pm 
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I mean food writing, memoirs, fiction &c, or even books that aren't necessarily about food, but where it features heavily. I love reading about food almost as much as I like eating it (which is a lot) and I'm trying to make a 'to read' list of books. I'll admit that I even quite like reading food writing about awful non-vegan food (I can't explain, really).

A couple of books on my list so far:

MFK Fisher's Serve It Forth, largely due to this extract: http://www.amazon.com/Alphabet-Gourmets-M-F-Fisher/dp/0865473919 (along with her other book, Alphabet for Gourmets)

Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy, which, although it's not really about food at all, has the most exquisite descriptions of family meals and breaking fasts in 20s Egypt.

Ben Ryder Howe's My Korean Deli.

I'm also really, really excited about Lucy Knisley's upcoming graphic novel/memoir about her 'life in food', Relish: http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/books/lucy-knisleys-relish/

Are there any books about food that you love? Or that you enjoyed or want to read?


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:44 pm 
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man or mango?, lucy ellmann
lemon, lawrence krauser
dahl's james and the giant peach and the witches

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:33 pm 
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zebedee wrote:
MFK Fisher's Serve It Forth, largely due to this extract: http://www.amazon.com/Alphabet-Gourmets-M-F-Fisher/dp/0865473919 (along with her other book, Alphabet for Gourmets.)i[/i]
Yes. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but off the top of my head, I can think of the following.

Elizabeth David, English Bread and Yeast Cookery and French Country Cooking. (Although these do contain recipes, they're not cookbooks per se so much as books about food, with some folk tradition and cultural history thrown in. And her prose is pure pleasure to read.)

Nigel Slater, Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger, and Eating For England.

Bill Bryson, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. (His descriptions of the meals he ate growing up in 1950s Iowa are hilarious and horrifying in equal measure.)

Great idea for a thread; I'll be checking this to see what others post (and to add to my list as things occur to me)!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:47 pm 
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I don't know how I'd feel about them now (since Bourdain is soooo anti-veg*n), but I loved both Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour when I read them pregan.

I'm only about 1/4 of the way through, but Chocolate Wars is pretty good so far, and someone else (jogirl maybe?) liked it a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Eat, Pray, Love. It just really spoke to me as a woman.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:57 pm 
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I just got a book about food's influence and role in WWII from the library today so I'll report back on that. I don't mind carnivorous food writing and will read pretty much anything food related, here are a few:

A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World by Lonely Planet Publications (I love this anthology)

American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes by Molly O'Neill (still working through this but has many different essays)

Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilization by Andrew Rimas (interesting but not great)

We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americans by Donna Gabaccia (I read this for a class on food culture and remember it being very interesting)

I also enjoyed the Anthony Bourdain books and the book Heat by Bill Buford, all of which make me glad I don't work in a restaurant kitchen. Just looking through the Amazon list of books under gastronomy essays is making me add a bunch to my goodreads list.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:19 pm 
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I am another MFK Fisher devotee. Love her love her love her. And so many of the weird things in what, How to Cook a Wolf? I actually made when I was first fooling around learning to bake (prevegan).

I also really like Tony Bourdain. I don't eat his food, but I used to cook it (and worse) and my roots and old community are pretty similar to his, so I enjoy reading his stuff. (yeah, he's a douchebag. I'M a douchebag.)

I really enjoyed the Salt book, and there was another one. Rice? [god, time to go to bed.]

and it is cheesy, but i can still remember when i first read Food Matters, and how much it affected me. Especially that first image of the trunk of the car full of corn, and the trail of GM corn as he slurped down soda and ate nuggets. [was that Food Matters? jeebus, really time to go to bed]

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:23 pm 
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I just read Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl and really loved it. She's written a bunch of other books, too. Her memoir and history with food is really compelling

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:50 pm 
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I liked My Year of Meats a lot. It's fiction, but there are some pretty graphic moments, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:36 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
I just read Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl and really loved it. She's written a bunch of other books, too. Her memoir and history with food is really compelling

Oh shiitake I read that. It was great!

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:51 am 
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zebedee wrote:
Are there any books about food that you love? Or that you enjoyed or want to read?


This is shaping up to be a good list!

I really enjoyed Mark Kurlansky's The Food of a Younger Land.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =104659750

I also like movies where food is important, really.

I guess I just like food.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:00 am 
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My favorite is "Clementine in the Kitchen" by Samuel Chamberlain. It's about an American family moving to France and hiring a French cook, and then eventually moving back to the US taking the cook with them. It's written with love and humor and tenderness...love it.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Mark Kurlansky's Choice Cuts. I came for "Pablo Neruda on French Fries" and stayed for the rest.

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Also, this. This counts right?

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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:10 pm 
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I also love MFK Fisher!


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:10 pm 
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"Fruit Hunters" by Adam Gollner. So beautifully written, a lot of the fruits that were really obscure when the book came out are now much less so (like miracle fruit and cherimoyas) but this is just a totally captivating read about something you had no idea you were this interested in, I promise.

"Feeding Nelson's Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era" by Janet Macdonald - this one's a little nerdier, I would bet it's her PhD thesis or something, but if you're ever interested in stuff like how people managed to transport, acquire, and live off of stored food a couple hundred years ago, it's fascinating. It's also really interesting to me how little we knew about preventing scurvy for how long. I mean, that people knew that it was something good in citrus and fresh meat but the logistics of preparing food for long term storage without destroying the vitamins is actually really complicated and took much longer to figure out. I find food science stuff sort of thing fascinating to nerd out on, so your mileage may vary.

"And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails," Wayne Curtis. I find random history through food kind of books (like Kurlansky) fascinating, and this is one of the best I've read. You'll learn all sorts of awesome stuff you didn't know. Plus it'll turn you into a rum snob, one of the best kinds of snobs to be because rum doesn't get anywhere near the love that it should.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Ohh and it's sort of a coffee table book but Peter Menzel's "Hungry Planet" is fascinating, heartbreaking, enlightening..just so good.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:32 am 
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I remember loving "Like Water for Chocolate".

But yeah, I'm a little stuck in the 90's.


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 Post subject: Re: What are your favourite books about food?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:24 am 
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I adore Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone


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