Foodie Books (I only read ’em for the articles…)

I like to read about food.

Not just cookbooks, though I can spend long hours on the couch perusing those as well, but books about food, food history, and food culture.

Books like The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola, and The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin have changed the way I look at food, and the respect I have for it, and the process that get’s it to my table.

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (regardless of what I think of Tony, personally, it’s a fantastic book) and The Whole Beast, by Fergus Henderson, have sent me on a culinary adventure (usually flying solo, lol) far beyond the walls of sterilized, saran-wrapped “stuff marts” into a Wonka-esque world of offal wonderfulness.

Anyway, I like to read about food.

Here’s a book list I received from today, with the message, “Customers who have purchased food culture and gastronomy books from may enjoy these featured titles.”

  • Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich
  • A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories by April Bloomfield
  • The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World by Sandor Ellix Katz, Michael PollanĀ 
  • Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table by Jenny Rosenstrach
  • Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics (California Studies in Food and Culture) by Marion Nestle, Malden Nesheim
  • Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization by Paul Kindstedt
  • The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg

Personally, I haven’t read a single one of these books, but “A Girl and Her Pig” and “The Flavor Bible” have been on my list for awhile now. If you’ve read them, please let us know what you thought of them. Of the “food culture and gastronomy books” I have read, these three are probably my favorites…

…what are yours?



Filed under Ponderings, Reviews

8 responses to “Foodie Books (I only read ’em for the articles…)

  1. My boss has been waxing poetic about The Belly of Paris for months now. I may just have to read it!

  2. Such a great book, kinda a cross between Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, but with a whole lot of food!

  3. Dale Reed

    Holy Smoke by John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, with William McKinney

  4. That’s such a great book. One of my favorites!

  5. kattie

    Avoid “Restaurant Man” at all costs – what a waste of time! I ended the book not being able to stand Bastianich at all and his insights seemed pointless. I just heard another review on the same book on this literary talk radio show I follow, The Book Report, that echoed how I felt. I tend to agree with Elaine Charles’s reviews (she’s the host of the show) and this one was another — avoid it!

  6. The Flavor Bible is an essential for me. I use it all of the time to rif on an ingredient and brainstorm a recipe. It also helps me pair dishes together that might not seem so obvious on the face. It isn’t as much of a book as a reference.

  7. I really need to get that book!

  8. DaveOmak

    I read the Flavor Bible, twice, to try and get my head around, “why sometimes my spice combos worked and others were failures”. Knowing there is a balance between the sensory flavors, at the very least, has me paying “more” attention to detail on which spice and how much… Flavor profiles of my dishes is improving… I can recommend this book for those who desire the depth and richness of flavors that comes with patience…

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