Weekend Cooking: Best Food Writing

Happy First Day of Spring to all.

The only thing that beats good food writing is really good food. It’s just so enjoyable to read about other people’s experiences with food. Once a year for the past ten, Holly Hughes has been gathering together the best literary works about food written during that year. She combs all the good magazines, newspaper columns, websites, newsletters, and books. And she puts them all together in a yearly edition of –

Best Food Writing

Edited by Holly Hughes

Da Capo Press, 2009

This anthology is filled with a wide assortment of food topics and authors. She has divided the book into seven sections. My favorite sections are Stocking the Pantry, Home Cooking, Dining Around, and Family Table. Of the fifty essays let me tell you about a few of my favorites.

  • The Last Time I Saw Paris was a test by Ruth Reichl to see if she could duplicate her ’60s trip to Paris. She wanted to see if she could find affordable yet high-quality dining that was reminiscent of that long ago trip. She discovered the young chefs of Paris are “reclaiming its title of food capital of the world.”
  • Marshmallow Fluff by Katie Liesener was, to me, a hilarious account of how a Massechusetts State Senator sought to outlaw the use of Marshmallow Fluff from school lunches. The ramifications from his actions were felt nationwide. I didn’t know they were still making the stuff.
  • Out of the Wild by Peter Jamison chronicled Iso Rabins’ new business of suppling customers with wild-growing edibles he has foraged for within the San Francisco area. His customers include some of the chefs from the Bay Area’s premier restaurants.
  • Todd Kliman’s essay on The Last Meal was a tribute to his late father and his love of good food. The piece has caused me to become a enthusiastic fan of Kliman’s writing. If you’d like a sample, visit this website where he has written about The Perfect Chef. Beware, you may catch his obsession, or at least his enthusiasm for great food.

There were a few recipes in the book. I was especially touched by Peter Wells’ quest for foods that would suit his severally allergic little boy. He developed an eggless Chocolate Cupcakes for Almost Everybody that sounds delicious. I also want to try the Tacos de Carnitas and the Blackberry and Apple Cake.

If you are interested in extremely good food writing, I highly recommend this book.

I purchased this book but my library also had copies of previous editions. Best Food Writing 2009 is also available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

Talking about food is a regular feature on my blog and others as well. Visit Beth Fish Reads for other bloggers who are participating in Weekend Cooking.

This entry was posted in Food Talk, Weekend Cooking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Weekend Cooking: Best Food Writing

  1. As soon as I saw the cover I was oohing and aahing…gorgeous. I have to see if my library has this one!!!

  2. Molly says:

    I didn’t realize there was a “best food writing” series. I would definitely enjoy savouring each and every essay. The Last Time I Saw Paris has particularly captured my attention.

  3. Beth F says:

    I haven’t picked this anthology up yet, but I’ve had it in mind to check out of the library. Glad this year’s (well 2009’s) is a good one.

  4. The Marshmallow Fluff story sounds great! Is there anything on the ketchup-is-a-vegetable snafu?

  5. JoAnn says:

    I didn’t know there was a best food writing series, either! I’ll be looking for this one… thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  6. The book sounds fantastic and that cover is just to die for!

  7. kaye says:

    The cover is gorgeous and blackberry and apple combo sounds like a real winner to me. Just thinking of it is making me salivate.

  8. Bonnie says:

    I enjoy food writing books and short stories. I’ve read Ruth Reichl’s books and enjoyed them. Thanks for telling us about this book it sounds very interesting.

  9. caite says:

    gosh, I thought I posted a comment here, but it seems not.
    I forget what I was going to say now, except that while I like the cover, I wondered if I was the only person that it reminded of a can of Campbell’s soup at first glance.

  10. Stacy says:

    Mmmm…Marshmallow fluff.

  11. I think I’d like this collection of essays (don’t read it on an empty stomach, eh?)

    I’m laughing at Caite’s comment – I didn’t see the Campbell’s soup pattern initially, but now that she’s pointed it out, that’s all I see!

  12. Belle says:

    I’ll definitely have to pick this one up – it sounds wonderful!

  13. Belle says:

    Me again! wanted to add, I don’t see Campbell’s Soup on the cover but I did think it was a Valentine’s Day book when I first glanced at it!

  14. interesting take on the subject, count me as a new subscriber!

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