The beauty of food is that it isn’t just about eating. Sure, eating is a big part of it, but there is the shopping, the cooking, the smelling, the communal aspect, and the reading. Yes, most foodies also love to read – why? Well, reading is also a totally sensory experience. You get lost in a good book the same way that you get lost in a good meal, totally and completely forgetting where you are and what is going on around you and just enjoying and living in the moment. In case you need a few authors to get your creative and culinary juices flowing, here are some of my favorite books. Just be sure to have a napkin handy because chances are that you will be drooling before you are done reading.
“Alice, Let’s Eat” Trilogy
If Calvin Trillin isn’t the messiah of food writing, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. His three books chronicle his eating adventures with his wife and young daughters. The first time you read about him going to Arthur Bryant’s for barbecue, you will have to get some barbecue for dinner. I speak from experience.
“What’s For Lunch, Charlie?”
This children’s book is out of print, but if you can get your hands on it, pay whatever price the seller asks. When Charlie forgets his lunch at home and decides to eat at the elegant King Charles Hotel, his meal is one for the ages. The way that Margaret Hodges describes crisply fried chicken, creamy tomato soup, and even a dish of olives and crudités is so wonderful and mouthwatering that you don’t wonder why Charlie went there for lunch. It’s a perfect book for the young foodie in you.
“The Man Who Ate the World”
Jay Rayner is not a home chef. He likes luxury and plenty of it. His journey to find the most expensive restaurants in the world and to eat there is at once every foodie’s dream and nightmare. When he gets to go eat at several different high-end restaurants in New York City in one night, it is paradise. But his weeklong affair of eating tasting menu after tasting menu at Michelin-starred restaurant turns into too much of a good thing. It is an indulgent and fanciful book best enjoyed with a dish of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.