{book report} The Best Food Writing 2016

Hey friends!best-food-writing-2016-cover

It’s been a solid forever since I’ve posted on the blog – I blame the touring, the ever-changing schedule, the vastness of interesting and crazy things to see all over the country, and a decided lack of kitchen and kitchen provisions in the last many months. There hasn’t been a ton of noteworthy cooking happening, so I’ve been lacking in inspiration to post my not-so-interesting food ideas of late.

Come February, we’ll be a little more stationary for several months and I’ll be back in the kitchen/ back on the blog. Stay tuned… I’m hopeful the many months away will make for some messy and hopefully yummy healthy foodie adventures when I can finally unpack my knife block again. ;)

Since my last updates on FTGU, I’ve been exploring a lot of neat food writing and recounts of other folks’ culinary exploits. I recently raced through one of the most fascinating volumes of The Best Food Writing compilations I’ve read to date and wanted to share it here (you know, in case you’re looking for holiday gift ideas or something fun to read on a long flight).

The 2016 edition of The Best Food Writing spans a variety of topics; so wide, in fact, that when Mr. Height asked me about what I was reading, “environmental policy”, “food as culture”, “food as race”, “the restaurant service industry”, “the London meat market scene”, “Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook” and “baking without a recipe” all came tumbling out of my mouth. It must have made no sense at all.

But really, the book – which is comprised of essays, articles and think pieces on all things food – really does cover this broad a range of topics. I absolutely loved the piece on being an “undercover” service captain in a swanky NYC restaurant [and all of the drama that comes with that] and the culturally fascinating but severely upsetting story about an annual enormous festival in Iceland where smoked puffin (PUFFIN!) is served in big white tents. The story was most interesting because of the environmental implications it uncovered, as well as the dichotomy that exists in a culture that revers and eats a particular animal, but the climate change issue (and how it relates not only to what we eat but what puffins eat) was really informative.

If you’re on the hunt for recipes with a back story, the book provides those, too: a dessert or a dinner with a face, almost, as it allows you to understand how and why that particular tart came to be important in the writer’s life and explains precisely how to make it.

The book reads quickly (given the 3-4 page length of almost every piece) but is packed with moving personal stories, anecdotes from far-away places and mouth-watering descriptions (some so good, I found myself thinking “I could go for a chicken tender”…. I don’t think I’ve had a chicken tender – or chicken - in over 10 years. That’s how well it’s written.)

The Best Food Writing 2016 would be a terrific gift for anyone on your holiday list who loves food. Or books. Or good storytelling. Or acerbic retellings of the rise and fall of Good Coffee.

Have a great holiday season, all. Off to NZ for a few weeks and back in 2017 for [hopefully] some fabulous foodie adventures back on the east coast. If you feel like following along with our quest for outdoorsy-ness and delicious edible things across the ocean, I’ll be posting to Instagram as we go, assuming I don’t entirely lose my mind at how beautiful NZ is and retire my phone forever. ;)

Hurray! Happy eating + reading,

Amy

 

 

 

(Just so we’re cool: I’m not making any money for posting and this post contains no affiliate links. I did receive a copy of The Best Food Writing 2016 from the publisher. I would have bought it anyways.) :) 

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