As summer comes to a close and COVID surges again, what better distraction is there than digging into a great book? Maybe a great meal? With these three titles, you get the feeling of a bit of both!
At a pivotal moment in her life –– new motherhood–– food writer Hannah Howard begins searching out her fellow food people, women who’ve carved a place for themselves in a punishing, male-dominated industry. From Milan to Bordeaux to Oslo and back again to her home in New York City, Hannah spends time with these women, learning about the intimate paths that led them each toward fulfilling careers in food. Alongside this, Hannah finds herself on a heart-wrenching private path, coping with her role as a new mom and the residual debris of a lifelong obsession with food (laced with insecurity and darker compulsions.) She finds solace, companionship, and inspiration in her foodie heroines and discovers new ways to appreciate her body and nourish her life.
Scoff — which can mean both to eat greedily or to show contempt — is an entertaining examination of the bloated role of class in Britain’s eating habits since 1066. In a series of short essays that make a long but enjoyable book, Vogler darts between centuries, examining everything from fish knives, picnics, and doilies, to specific dishes from fish and chips, Cornish Pasties, pork pies, and even the fall of peach melba (invented by the feted chef Escoffier in the 1890s, by the 1970s it was “a pudding for children; no grander than a banana split”). It all boils down to class, argues Vogler. In Britain, it seems impossible to eat anything without revealing who you are. A fun and educational read, no matter if you are English or not––plus there are historical recipes and their modern counterparts!
If Scoff wasn't too English, keep going with Hungry, by author Grace Dent, who is one of the "most beloved voices in English food." The former restaurant critic for The Guardian, Evening Standard, and judge on MasterChef since 2013, traces her story from growing up in a small community just south of the Scottish border to making it as a media star in the bright lights and fancy eateries of expense-account London. For foodies, it is an insightful and entertaining memoir, stripping bare the hungry ambition of a chubby little girl from the north, detailing how she clawed her way up each rung of the London media ladder, only to be pulled back to her hometown to care for her aging and infirm parents.