A foodie has a deep interest in food and isn’t just someone who likes to eat. It may range from the love of eating or reading about it to cooking and writing about it. There are many genres, but no one pays attention to some specific hobbies or interests. That’s why in a sea of book reviews, we decided to do one for the foodies among us.
I would like to believe that writing for foodies as the audience is similar in some way to writing a science-fiction novel. That’s because even though food is a significant theme, the book would also contain few other things like humor, romance, and mystery. Subsequently, we’ll discuss some of these books, and not all of them are cookbooks.
1. Squirrel Pie (and Other Stories)
This exquisitely written book is Elisabeth Luard’s food and travel memoir. As an award-winning food writer, she has inspired many contemporary chefs, and her works still do so today. Luard shares her experience with various dishes across the world. We see the adventure of traveling to places that most people wouldn’t ordinarily want to go and learning so much.
Through her words, the rest of us get to live vicariously through her and not just know something about other places but about their food and culture. She tells them as different stories divided into four landscapes- islands, rivers, forests, and deserts. Though it’s not a recipe book, the author generously couples in numerous authentic recipes. Also, fantastic storytelling is inspirational.
2. Double Cup Love
This book is one of Eddie Huang’s memoirs, the first being Fresh Off the Boat, an ABC sitcom. Though it’s a sort of continuation of Huang’s story, you can read Double Cup Love on its own. The author’s a Manhattan-based restaurateur, chef, and actor with a level of fame. He shares how his being a media star drew him away from his cooking passion in the book.
Besides that, his business was causing tension, and then he fell in love with an American girl. All that made him question if he had lost touch with his Chinese roots. Therefore, he decided to migrate there to reconnect with the culture and figure out what he wanted. This story shows a search for connection and belonging by way of food, love, and culture.
3. Meat: Everything You Need to Know
The authors of this non-fiction book are Pat LaFrieda and Carolynn Carreño. LaFrieda is an experienced butcher with an established meat-packing business, so he knows his stuff. The book contains numerous recipes for different kinds of meat with stepwise photographs. He also advises on necessary equipment, including things like the perfect blade to cut your steak.
He shares the knowledge of the best cuts to buy with readers and doesn’t leave out the poultry. LaFrieda generously shares even some of his family’s recipes. The book also shows various techniques for handling and cooking different meat types, such as roasting a chicken. It both contains much helpful information and appeals to the senses.
4. Cooked Up
Cooked Up is a diverse compilation of fictional food write-ups from various brilliant authors. Some of them include Elaine Chiew, Charles Lambert, Vanessa Gebbie, Sue Guinea, and Nikesh Shukla. They make us see food in a cultural light and how the love for food is a universal thing. With articulate writing, each story draws you in and keeps you turning the page until the end.
This anthology contains short stories, flash fiction, essays, and a combination of story and haiku called “stoku.” New Internationalist published it in 2015, but it’s still as fresh as ever and most likely applies to present life and culture. It’s a unique collection that shows the role of food in bringing societies and families together.
5. Food: A Love Story
This rib-tickling book by stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan is what you might need to take the edge off a long day. It’s like watching a series of comedy specials about food. It features many of the author’s funny observations about food and how he relates to them. I bet you’ll also be able to relate to some of them on an individual level. Someone described it as a comedic food discussion.
If you know Gaffigan, you’ll know that this book is part of his best works so far. It contains material from some of his comedy, and unfortunately, not everyone can relate to that. He also talks about his relationship with food and why he hates the ones he does. It has some satire, and it’s guaranteed to get you to laugh out loud.
6. The Man Who Ate Everything
We see countless cookbooks written by chefs but rarely by food critiques (although many are also chefs), so this book is a refreshing change. That’s one of the things that makes it attractive. Besides that, he infused humor, and that’s always hard to resist. The author, Jeffrey Steingarten, is also Vogue’s food writer, so he has food experience.
He infuses his opinionated personality and passion for food into this writing. Since the book came out about a decade ago, some health information might be a little outdated. However, it still retains its integrity and makes an exciting and rewarding addition to your book collection. He tells personal stories and shares recipes.
7. State of the Onion
Written by Julie Hyzy, State of the Onion is a fictional mystery novel set in the White House. The assistant chef, Olivia Paras, is vying for one of the country’s most important executive chef positions. However, she comes across some obstacles that may set her back a whole lot. Yet, she sets her mind on earning her dream job despite the hiccups. This book has numerous great reviews and a four-star recommendation attached to it. It’s a page-turner, and one reader described the dialogue as amusing. With the intriguing characters, the State of the Onion makes a fantastic summer read as it’s reasonably entertaining. The main character is also very likable in this unique setting.