Federico Fellini once said, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” I definitely agree. Never underestimate the magic of pasta. Good food has a way of bringing people together, putting a smile on your face, and soothing your soul. Food is able to immerse us in all sorts of different experiences, ranging from enjoying comfort foods that you have often, or trying something new for the first time. It’s always exciting to explore new types of food, whether it’s trying a new recipe in your kitchen, or tasting the food offered around the world as you travel. The stories below are all about food exploration, at home and abroad. Check out these books to peruse some food centered stories, and possibly gain some inspiration to broaden your own food experience. After all, we all have to eat to live, so we might as well eat something delicious.
By Jeffery Steingarten
When Jeffrey Steingarten was appointed food critic for Vogue, he systematically set out to overcome his distaste for such things as kimchi, lard, Greek cuisine, and blue food. He succeeded at all but the last: Steingarten is “fairly sure that God meant the color blue mainly for food that has gone bad.” In this impassioned, mouth-watering, and outrageously funny book, Steingarten devotes the same Zen-like discipline and gluttonous curiosity to practically everything that anyone anywhere has ever called “dinner.”
Follow Steingarten as he jets off to sample choucroute in Alsace, hand-massaged beef in Japan, and the mother of all ice creams in Sicily. Sweat with him as he tries to recreate the perfect sourdough, bottle his own mineral water, and drop excess poundage at a luxury spa. Join him as he mounts a heroic–and hilarious–defense of salt, sugar, and fat (though he has some nice things to say about Olestra). Stuffed with offbeat erudition and recipes so good they ought to be illegal, The Man Who Ate Everything is a gift for anyone who loves food.
By Ahmir Questlove Thompson
Questlove is a drummer, producer, musical director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author. What unites all of his work is a profound interest in creativity. In Somethingtofoodabout, Questlove applies his boundless curiosity to the world of food. In conversations with ten innovative chefs in America, he explores what makes their creativity tick, how they see the world through their cooking and how their cooking teaches them to see the world. The conversations begin with food but they end wherever food takes them. Food is fuel. Food is culture. Food is history. And food is food for thought.
The Food Explorer: the True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting botanist who Transformed what America Eats
By Daniel Stone
The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes–and thousands more–to the American plate. In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater.
By Michael Pollan
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements – fire, water, air, and earth – to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.
By James Oseland
Join us at the table for this 34-course banquet of original stories from food-obsessed writers and chefs sharing their life-changing food experiences.
The dubious joy of a Twinkie, the hunger-sauced rhapsody of fish heads, the grand celebration of an Indian wedding feast; the things we eat and the people we eat with remain powerful signposts in our memories, long after the plates have been cleared. Tuck in, and bon appetit!
Written by Jennie Bowman, General Reference Flex Librarian