Given that 99.9% of this blog is devoted to food, I’m not sure why it took me four months to put together a list of my favorite food related books. But ce la vie. This month, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share my favorite food related books. I’ve only included one cookbook- mostly because I really completely rely on the internet of food things* for all my recipes. Hopefully you’ll be culinary inspired. or Hungry. There is a high chance that you will be hungry after reading any of these books.
Side note: My parents and G+I are traveling (separately) over Thanksgiving, so we’re throwing a Friendsgiving at my parent’s place this weekend. So far the guest list is 25 people, including Steph!– so stay tuned for a post on how the party turned out. My parents have planned the menu so I’m in charge of green beans and snacks. (They let me handle the most important stuff obviously.) Let me know in the comments how you celebrate!
1. Truffle Boy by Ian Purkayastha
Yes, this book already made the list but it’s that good.
Truffle Boy covers Ian Purkayastha’s journey with exotic food- from his first taste of truffles (age 15 in rural Arkansas) to his high stakes dealings with truffle kingpins in Serbia, meth-head foragers in Oregon, crooked businessman and maniacal chefs in Manhattan, gypsy truffle hunters in the Hungarian forests and a supreme adventure to find “Gucci” mushrooms in the Himalayan foothills.
Read When: You’ve run out of Chef’s Table episodes on Netflix and want to know about how those chefs get those exotic truffles and want to impress others with your identifying fake Wagyu beef.
Read with: The best whisky or scotch you have. It will be worth it.
2. Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure amoung the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists who taught me to live for Taste by Bianca Bosker
Bianca Bosker traded her job writing about tech companies to throw herself headfirst in wine- tasting, smelling, studying, and
stalking hanging out with other sommeliers. Cork Dork chronicles her self-designed wine immersion- from working as a cellar rat in a top New York City restaurant, joining exclusive blind tasting clubs and bagging a TopSomm guest judge spot. As a result, this book is a delightful blend of science, memoir and encounters with people who are deadly serious about wine.
Read When: You want to know what the big deal is between a $20 and $200 bottle of wine.
Read with: Wine. Obviously.
3. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
In 1993, Ruth Reichl became the most influential person in the New York food scene- the New York Times food critic. Garlic and Saphires chronicles Reichl’s ten year stint with the Times, and her effort to bring good food to the masses. Reichl disguises herself with wigs, make-up, clothing and personas to avoid being recognized and avoid any red carpet treatment that might unduly influence her reviews. The result is a smart and witty reflection about American national identity, the relationship to food, and the concepts of service, status and privilege.
Read When: You want to be a NYT food critic but don’t know what it entails
Read with: a full stomach
4. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
The book begins at a four hour lunch on New Years Day. In this charming and warm memoir, Peter Mayle chronicles the details of his first year living in the remote French countryside of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. The pages are peppered with hilarious accounts of eating outside during the chilly mistral, exposing a frozen baguette ring (sacrelig!) to using pigs to uncover the prize black Périgord truffles. Mayle’s descriptions of his neighbors, laborers, markets and restaurants make this an especially fun weekend or holiday read.
Read When: You want food and wanderlust
Read with: Cheese, fresh baguettes and a good glass of wine.
5. Cravings by Chrissy Tiegen
And lastly, the only cookbook I’ve ever loved and wanted to actually recommend. Chrissy Tiegen truly makes food you want to eat. So far I’ve made her pork stuffed cucumber soup, chili garlic sauce, lettuce wraps, actual drunk noodles, Gaucamole, and chicken grapow. The best thing is Tiegen covers a mix of recipes from healthy salads (she is a swimsuit model) to absolutely decadent junk food. This book has a recipe for every occasion.
Read When: You’re hosting Friendsgiving
Read with: You need a fun and refreshing and actually useful cookbook.
*this is a totally nerdy thing from my industry. Bonus points to you if you know what the internet of things is. But for real- I rely mostly on Pinterest and buzzfeed for my recipes.