If you’re looking for great books for food lovers (other than cookbooks, but those are great too!), I have the perfect list for you! Lately, I’ve been on such a reading kick. Perhaps it’s because I set a goal of reading 40 books this year, and it’s already autumn so I have some catching up to do. But I also love curling up with a cup of tea and a good story while listening to the end-of-summer thunderstorms we’ve been experiencing.
A few of these recommendations are new reads I discovered this year, and others are old favorites on my bookshelf that I love going back to read. Here’s our list of Books For Food Lovers – for gifts, your coffee table, or your own inspiration!
Great Books For Food Lovers
The Food Explorer – This was my favorite book of 2018 and one of my top book recommendations for food lovers. As a food explorer myself, I just couldn’t put it down. It tells the real life story of David Fairchild, a botanist in the nineteenth century that traveled the world overland to introduce new crops to the United States. Author Daniel Stone made this biography about plants a page-turner, sharing adventurous tales of what travel was like at the time, but also taking readers on a journey to imagine what it must have been like to taste bananas, mangos or avocados for the very first time. On Amazon: The Food Explorer
The Hundred-Food Journey – Yes, this is also a popular movie with Helen Miran and Manish Dayal. But the book is so worth the read! With the enticing descriptions of Indian and French cuisine, plus the heart-warming story of making new friends and learning about different cultures, it will put you in a good mood and inspire you to cook. On Amazon: The Hundred-Foot Journey
Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany – This is a fun little coffee table book and a great conversation starter over cocktails with friends. Schott’s is not a book you read cover-to-cover, but one you thumb through when you’re in the mood for an intellectual adventure. In the cover, the book’s purpose is descibed as “to sweep up the crumbs strewn carelessly across the converastional tablecloth.” In it, you’ll find fun random food facts (in no particular order) such as unusual pizza toppings in sixty countries, the etiquette for Japanese tea ceremonies, menus for historic events, and more. On Amazon: Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany
Food Lover’s Companion – This reference book should be in every cook’s kitchen. Google, after all, doesn’t know everything. Organized like a dictionary from A-to-Z, the Food Lover’s Companion describes everything from French food terms to different types of cooking techniques. If there is something in a recipe you’re unsure of, this book will have the answer. There’s also handy charts in the back for measurement conversions, cuts of meat, pan size volume, and more. On Amazon: The Food Lover’s Companion
My Life In France by Julia Child – A wonderful read about one of the most loved chefs of all time, Julia Child. With the help of Alex Prud’homme, Julia shares her story about life in France and how she became enchanted with food and cooking. It’s truly a love story about her marriage and her work, and it’s almost as if you can hear her voice reading it to you. On Amazon: My Life In France
Cooked – Michael Pollan has quite a few wonderful books on food, but this one is my favorite. In it, the traces the history and traditions of cooking methods using he four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth. And there’s a recipe included for each one! Throughout his journey of researching food — from North Carolina barbecue pit masters to fascinating alchemists in the kitchen — he also weaves an underlying theory that I wholeheartedly agree with, that cooking food from scratch nurtures our bodies, our relationships, and our soul.
On Amazon: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
The Widow Clicquot – I always say a wine tastes even better when you know it’s story, and this fascinating biography is a must-read for anyone with an interest in champagne! It’s the story of widow Barbe-Nicole Clicquot and how she built an empire producing Champagne at a time when women typically didn’t work and especially didn’t run an international business. On Amazon: The Widow Clicquot.
Are there any other great books for food lovers that you’ve read? Tell me in the comments below! I’d love to add a few new ones to my reading list.