3+1 Books About Food: 3 works of fiction + 1 work of nonfiction on a particular subject
Part of my new section featuring three fiction books and one nonfiction about one subject.
1. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
Like Water for Chocolate is an extremely sensual tale of a family of women during the Mexican Revolution, told from the kitchen. While many authors have tried to incorporate recipes into novels, no novel does it as seamlessly as Like Water for Chocolate. Through the meals she cooks, Tita, the ever-suffering youngest daughter, expresses her feelings of joy, love, loss, anger and compassion. A truly delicious book.
2. Tomorrow There Will be Apricots, Jessica Soffer
Another book where food takes on the life of a character, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is a touching and inspiring novel where Masgouf, a traditional Iraqi dish, takes center stage. Through the story of Lorca, an attention-starved teen with a selfish, self-absorbed chef mother who ignores her; and Victoria, a recently widowed former restaurateur who emigrated from Iraq, Soffer weaves a touching and exquisite story of self acceptance, friendship, and what it means to be family. The descriptions of food and cooking throughout the book make you wish books came with smells.
3. The Last Chinese Chef, Nicole Mones
A book that makes you want to visit China so you can just eat your way around the culture, The Last Chinese Chef offers detailed descriptions of a variety of dishes and their preparation. From the simple homemade meal to the extravagant dish that requires immense skill, Mones delves into the history and philosophy of Chinese cooking and how it differs from western culinary traditions. The plot is entertaining and the descriptions of food make it well worth the read.
+1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
The Omnivore’s Dilemma has changed the way many people eat, and in many ways started the farm to fork revolution. Beginning with the premise that it takes an investigative journalist to discover what’s in our food and how it is produced, Pollan goes on a journey full of surprises. In what is already a classic, Pollan outlines the sources of what we eat and where it comes from, taking the reader from industrial corn and livestock factory farms to large and small organic farms, pulling back the curtain on a traditionally secretive industry. He then undertakes to cook a single meal out of ingredients that he either grew, foraged or hunted. Fascinating and engrossing, this book changed the way I think about who I support at the cash register and what I put in my body.