Best Food Writers, or, Even More Fun with Food Metaphors

I have my home page set to Poetry Daily. It’s awesome to get a new poem every day and to learn about poets I’ve never heard of. But TODAY’S poem, “Elizabeth Sloughter’s Heart,” by Sarah Kennedy, really knocked me out! Why? Because it’s about food, history, and women, three of my favorite topics.  I’m off to order Kennedy’s book, Home Remedies, now.

This got me to thinking about my favorite food writers. I’ve taken turns through Ruth Reichl, Jeffrey Steingarten, Calvin Trillin, Anthony Bourdain, and hmmm, who else? I always loved R.W. Apple Jr. and, of course, MFK Fisher. And I’m leaving Michael Pollan off that list because while he is writing about food, he is not often also writing about pleasure.

But I asked myself, who am I missing here? Why haven’t I yet read Edna Lewis or Elizabeth David? Here is a really excellent discussion on the topic of best food writers, from which I have built a new reading list for myself (I’m really terrible at follow-through, so don’t hold me to this). There are really just too many to choose from!

  • Edna Lewis, The Taste of Country Cooking
  • Elizabeth David, anything
  • Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
  • Jonathan Gold, Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles (I love listening to Gold when he’s on Good Food)

And here you were thinking: Oh how nice, a post about poetry. See, food isn’t the only thing this girl thinks about.

What about y’all? What are your favorite non-cookbook books about food? I’d love to know.


Filed under food, food writing

4 responses to “Best Food Writers, or, Even More Fun with Food Metaphors

  1. Honestly, the only non-cookbook food related books I have read are Fast Food Nation and books on Celiac Disease. (How embarrassing!!!) What is your recommendation for a first foodie read?

  2. mjennings26

    I haven’t read Fast Food Nation yet. I need a break from food politics these days. But it’s on my (extended) list of things to read.

    I suppose I would start with Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential because it’s such a fun read and provides a great behind-the-scenes view for anyone who has never worked in a restaurant. On that topic, the film “Waiting” is hilarious and very true-to-life.

    For the more contemplative kind of food writing, I would start with MFK Fisher’s Gastronomical Me or How to Cook a Wolf. Enjoy and let me know how you like them!

  3. Thanks! I’m hitting the library today. I’ll see if they have these titles. You are a gem!

  4. mjennings26

    My pleasure! I hope you enjoy!

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