Food Books

On this page I’ll list some of the books I’ve read or am reading that I think are worth your time and sometimes short descriptions

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone – edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
First of all, I love this book, and I’m sorry that I didn’t think of it first!  It is wonderful food for the soul as they say.  Not only does the editor get the idea for a book about eating alone and the strange / unique eating habits we develop when we’re on our own while she’s in graduate school, but she’s also at the University of Michigan, where I grew up and went to undergrad.  So of course I can empathize with all of her feelings about Michigan winters and also with the loneliness of and lack of motivation that goes along with living by yourself and how some days you just can’t be bothered to step outside the comfort zone and make an extravagant meal for one because who really is going to care?  But honestly, if you’ve ever eaten alone at a restaurant or made yourself the same thing for dinner weeks on end or just poured yourself another bowl of cereal at the end of the day, this is the book for you.  An amazing collection of authors, many of whom you’ll recognize if you read widely in the food world, sharing the intimate details of their own solitary dining experiences.

Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream – by Jason Fagone
This book about the competitive eating circuit is definitely worth reading if you want to get an inside perspective on what it’s like to be a competitive eater. Fagone also does a really wonderful job of using this as a means of exploring larger issues in American culture, such as how the popularity of competitive eating is tied to the rise in American obesity, but also how it’s seen as a realization of the American dream, another form of self expression and freedom. A really impressive book written by a journalist who is only 26 years old!

Take Big Bites – by Linda Ellerbee
Not written by a foodie, per se, but a journalist who has a non-traditional view on food. The stories she tells certainly involve food as an important centerpiece, but it seems that the role that food plays in various experiences in her life is only secondarily recognized. I definitely recommend this book since the way that the author describes parts of her life is very light-hearted and enjoyable, with the requisite food references thrown in.


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