I like to read about food. This may be related to the fact that I like to eat food. Or even to the fact that I like to cook food. But mainly I think it has to do with the fact that I really like non-fiction, but I especially like non-fiction that is personal. I like memoirs. I like social history. I like finding out about other people’s lives. And food is nothing if not personal, so that makes it a perfect non-fiction subject for me.
American Food Writing, edited by Molly O’Neill, is a creatively named anthology of writing selections dating back to the country’s inception. They are arranged chronologically and it is interesting to see American food evolve (and diversify) over time. The pieces are all fairly short (I don’t think any was more than 10 pages or so), which made it the perfect book to keep in the house and pick up any time I had a few minutes. (It’s over 700 pages long, so it can also last you for a good, long while). As a bonus, it introduced me to quite a few new food writers who I am eager to check out. I think it’s always a good sign with a book leads you to other books.