Author J Ryan Stradal, released his new fiction novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest recently. To coincide with his writings, he has complied a list of great gastronomical writings which has allowed Stradel to read and dine well.
“A good dinner is of importance to good talk,” Virginia Woolf writes in A Room of One’s Own. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes.”
For great food writing, however, the lamp in our spine as readers demands more. The best food writing – about any kind of food – elevates it, recreates it, and broadens it with a keen sensory cubism. A great writer will make us hunger for things we’ve never eaten, conjure a consuming nostalgia from a list of ingredients, and make us feel like we’re dining well as we’re reading well. It was tough to narrow it down …, and I’m leaving out some great titles that you’ve already heard about, but here are a few favourites.
1. The Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher
2. Pow! by Mo Yan
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
4. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
5. Cheap Novelties by Ben Katchor
6. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
7. Beard on Bread by James Beard
8. Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown
9. Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles by Jonathan Gold