Top Ten Tuesday – When Literature and Food Meet (Foodie Fiction)

Is ‘Foodie Literature’ a genre? Well it is now.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten Authors from X Genre. I mostly read books classed as ‘contemporary literature’ but regular readers of my blog also know that whatever the book, whatever the genre, I match it with a dish. Yes, some people pair food and wine, I pair food and books (but won’t say no to wine as well!).

I love cooking, I love reading and I really love reading about cooking! So, here’s my top ten Foodie Literature picks (or perhaps Edible Fiction? Or Fiction with Flavour? Or Fiction in the Kitchen? Or Delicious Reads?… okay, stopping now, especially as there’s a couple of non-fiction titles in the mix).

1. Love & Hunger by Charlotte Wood – part cookbook, part memoir – this book is simply delicious.

2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel – perhaps the ultimate foodie fiction. This is the first novel I read that combined recipes with the story. It left a lasting impression. And I really, really, really love Mexican food (*really, really*… got that?!). While we’re at it, check out Scarletta Bakes – an insanely beautiful blog. And Scarletta has baked the Like Water for Chocolate wedding cake.

3. She Flew the Coop by Michael Lee West – before The Help there was Michael Lee West and her raft of Southern stories. I binged for a while, reading everything I could get my hands on. It’s probably time I revisited this author (and I’ll start with her cooking memoir, Consuming Passions). But if you haven’t read any West, begin with She Flew the Coop. It’s set in Limoges, Louisiana (population: 905), where people busy themselves with spreading gossip and consoling the unfortunate with casseroles.

4. The Dinner by Herman Koch – a gripping story that unfolds course by course.

5. Chocolat by Joanna Harris. Chocolate – say no more.

6. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain  – I haven’t ordered anything with mussels or Hollandaise Sauce in a restaurant since reading this book.

7. Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen – bleak and warm all at the same time.

and a few I haven’t read but really want to:

8. Heartburn by Nora Ephron – actually, this is one of those books that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read…

9. The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery (because I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog).

10. Limoncella and Linen Water by Tessa Kiros – looks sumptuous.

And because I can’t stand an incomplete list,  I must also make mention of Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, The Cook by Wayne Macauley and Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran.

21 responses

  1. I have to say, I have never read a food related book! The only one I have even heard of on your list is Chocolat. I think this genre should be more well known, it’s basically mixing two of life’s best!
    My TTT

  2. Books and food are my two favorite things. I actually consider it a luxury to read while I eat (doesn’t happen as often as I’d like as I often eat with others). It should be a genre, I actually quite like the phrase Fiction in the Kitchen (it’d be a good blog). The other day I saw the phrase Zombie Erotica used like it was legitimate genre, if that counts, so does foodie fiction.

      • Yes, definitely (and I see that you did (sub-heading at least))! And I haven’t read any zombie erotica either (and I can confidently say it won’t be happening), but I couldn’t believed they used that term like it was legitimate.

      • I couldn’t quite come at changing my blog name! I’m a bit sentimental – booksaremyfavouriteandbest has its roots in Twitter hash-tags (and it was Twitter that made me start blogging) and is also a play on Charlie & Lola by Lauren Child (some of my favourite kids boos).

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