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Favorite food books?

Looking for great food books (not cook books unless they are really heavy with great content outside of recipes). Books that inspire, educate and entertain. Have enjoyed Ruth Reichl, MFK Fisher, Alice Waters, Kermit Lynch...but are hungry for more!!

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  1. I love Michael Pollan's books Botany of Desire and the Omnivore's Dilemma. The first is more about botany and the second more about the agriculture industry, but they are about food, too! The second one is waaay more about food, as Botany of Desire also goes into tulips and marijuana.

    3 Replies
    1. re: arifa

      Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" and "A Cook's Tour." Mort Rosenblum's "Olives." Mark Kurlansky's "The Big Oyster." Gael Greene's "Insatiable" (about food and more).

      1. re: arifa

        Second to the Omnivore's Dilemma and would also add "Heat" by Bill Buford. He is a writer who wanted to know more about being a chef, and basicallly interned for Mario Batali (who is a different person than his TV persona!)

        1. re: coney with everything

          I had a problem getting into Heat (could be the pregnancy hormones - my concentration is for nothing lately). I found the back and forth between his interning and Batali's history distracting.

        1. Thanks for the great thread, mvi!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: funandyummy

            There are some awesome books in that thread and I ordered some based on what others wrote about. Have fun!

          2. Calvin Trillin is lots of fun. I also like the Michael Ruhl (sp?) books - Making of a Chef and Soul of a Chef.

            1. Michael Ruhlman does a great job - Making of a Chef, Soul of a Chef, etc.. very entertaining and well written.

              my personal favorite is anything by Jeffrey Steingarten- the man is hilarious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yankeefan

                Ruhlman!!! - yes, thats who I meant.

                And yes, Steingarten is hilarious.

                1. re: yankeefan

                  I have a secret crush on Steingarten. He's a pretentious grumpy curmudgeon... but that sly wit wins me over every time.

                2. There are also good collections: The Best Food Writing of 2000. There's been an edition every year since I believe. Great quick reads compiled from restaurant reviews, articles and prefaces to recipes.

                  1. Elizabeth David
                    Gina Mallet
                    Margaret Visser