Posts Tagged ‘food literature’



How My Childhood was Spent photo from Norby

How My Childhood was Spent photo from Norby


There are certain things individuals just can’t live without—the morning cup of Joe, an after 5 o’clock alcoholic beverage, sweet and sugary baked goods, exercise (I’ll never be one of these people) or watching the tube. These addictions are fueled by the relief felt by the individuals feels after completing the ritual.  Although I obsess about food compulsively, drink coffee and wine most days, and think I have an unhealthy obsession with food television, my real problem is food literature. My addiction books  began as soon as I could understand the words from the children’s books my wonderful mother  read to me every night of my childhood. From the preschool years on, I think I racked in every certificate, medal, or award that was reading related. I had the most accelerated reader points by well over 500 during my middle school years. That is probably because I read a book a day. Granted, my book worm nature didn’t prevent me from sociability–I played soccer and basketball, ran track, and served as a leader in Beta Club, Student Government, etc. But, reading was my passion. Once I started I couldn’t stop–I just had to know what happens. 



During college I read the typical books early adults use to find a sense of self and enlightenment– On the Road, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Awakening, etc. Books like this made me think outside the books and look at life from outside the middle-class white girl box. My future could be filled with anything, and all I knew was I no longer wanted final destination to be medical school, I needed something less constrained and static. That’s when I started reading cookbooks, food magazines, and all the nutritional literature I could get my hands on. Food is the language that we all speak. It is dynamic and covered all the subjects I love- writing, history, anthropology, nutrition, biology, physiology, sociology, psychology, and the list goes on forever. With food, it seems that the possibilities are endless, there is always a book to be read. What better way to satisfy my addiction. These days, my bookshelves are filled with an assortment of books from top-sellers to history books. But, the ratio of food literature to “normal” literature is a bit out of control. Once I learned that food literature goes far beyond cookbooks, I racked up on food history books, memoirs, anthropological ethnographies, farming books, wine books, food travel…you name it, I probably have it. My most recent purchase was on Tuesday. I went to my favorite used bookstore– McKays. I was there for nearly an hour with my dad, and I never made it out of the food section. Needless to say cheap prices and food books is a deadly combination for my wallet. I’m really thankful that my dad knows how much these books mean to me and my future. He bought them all for me, and I am already halfway through one of them. Thanks pops!

My Foodie Purchases

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Where Our Food Comes From by Gary Paul Nabham

Food in History by Reay Tannahill (This is a really old edition, but I felt like it’s $2 tag was a steal)

The Turkey by Andrew F. Smith

Why We Eat What We Eat by Raymond Sokolov

Endless Feasts with contributions from over 60 years of Gourmet Magazine edited by Ruth Reichl

Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee 


Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought about them. I love discussing literature, especially food related.


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Daivd Foster Wallace, one of the greatest writers of our time (according to my friend Justus) penned Consider the Lobster in August, 2004 for Gourmet Magazine. I first read this article one week ago, but it has been on my mind ever since. Not only is the writing witty and entertaining, but thought-provoking as well.

Whether your memories of lobster are from fine dining establishments complete with drawn butter over an open flame or Wal-Mart’s display of the terrified, sickly lobster…this article shines a new light on this glamourous American entree.  Walllace will have you laughing, shuddering, and questioning your whole outlook on food. Bravo!

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