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Best Food Books

Our Favorite Gourmet Book List for Food Lovers


Best Food Books

For true food lovers, you don't just love cooking and eating great food - you love reading about it as well. There is great reading to be had out there on food, that extends well beyond the cookbook 'collection of recipes' format. From non-fiction tales by chefs and foodies to instructive guides on techniques and the science of food, here are our favorite picks for the best food books:

On Food and Cooking: the Science of Food and Cooking.
By Harold McGee (Scribner, Rev. Upd. Edition 2004)

A staple of any chef or home cook's library, On Food and Cooking turns technical food-science into cook-friendly kitchen science. This book breaks down the composition of different ingredients, and provides in-depth insight into how food transforms during the cooking process. Incredibly detailed, this can be an overwhelming read at first, but you will find over time that you've absorbed tremendously valuable tips and new appreciation for what's actually taking place when you cook.

Heat:  An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. By Bill Buford (Knopf, 2006)

Heat is an incredible illustration of the passion of the foodie. Buford, a former New Yorker fiction editor, tells the story of his pilgrimage to learn the mysteries of Italian cooking - first becoming a volunteer in the grueling kitchen of Mario Batali's 'Babbo', then undertaking an extended cooking apprenticeship in Italy. Highly readable with a great thread of humor, this book is both a wonderful homage to Batali's incredible charisma and talent as well as an examination of the dichotomy of creating successful restaurant food versus traditional, artisanal food. 

Culinaria France (h.f.ullman, 2008)

A mix of traditional French cooking history and recipes, this guide to French cuisine covers a tremendous amount of ground (literally). Organized by region, each section highlight's the areas typical wines, cheeses, meats, breads, pastries and more. Large-format color photography brings the content to life and shows useful step-by-step demonstration of key cooking techniques. 

Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. (Anchor, 1995)

In an untraditional format, each chapter of Like Water for Chocolate begins with a recipe. The integration of food and cooking doesn't just end at how the author has structured the book: this format reflects how deeply food - its sensuality and role in bringing family together - is in fact part of the story of this Mexican rancher family. Do not read on an empty stomach!

Have a favorite food book? Email us your recommendations at amyandmike@easyfoodandwine.com.

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