Monday, November 12, 2018

Nonfiction November 2018: Let's Eat!


This week's Nonfiction November 2018 topic is Be/Ask/Become the Expert, hosted by JulzReads.  I tend to read nonfiction over a broad range of topics, meaning I'm an expert on nothing, so today I wanted to get your recommendations on a topic I want to read more about - food!

I'm taking inspiration from a book I read earlier this year, Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger.

While I did have some issues with the author's personal opinions and her judgmental tone throughout the book, I liked the idea behind this read: learning about the history of ice cream and various companies, different types of ice cream, things like that.  I'll be honest - I love to eat!  So, here's what I'm looking for: your recommendations for books about food and the food industry.  I'm keeping it a bit broad, so really any of the following would be helpful:

- The history or evolution of different food items or specific companies
- Books about restaurants
- Books about or by your favorite chefs
- Even cookbooks if you feel like they include fun stories besides just recipes


Can't wait to hear your suggestions!

48 comments:

  1. Are you a fan of true crime? Those are the only non-fiction I've ended up venturing into. Like I'll be Gone in the Dark?

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    1. I've read a few true crime, I'll Be Gone in the Dark is one I've actually shied away from!

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  2. I also read a wide variety of nonfiction. I have read 2 books about plagues this year. That doesn’t make me an expert, but I know way more about deadly diseases than I probably should. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about food. Unless you count Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. That’s a book about “food.”

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. Ohhh! My "Become The Expert" was on this very topic. Maybe you'll find a great food-themed book here? http://stackedbooks.org/2018/11/nonfiction-november-week-3-dig-into-food-nonfiction-be-the-expert.html

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    1. Awesome, I will definitely be checking that out!!

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  4. I highly recommend Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. Rather than go into long detail here in the comments, I'll give you the link to my review: https://www.exurbanis.com/archives/12565#make

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  5. I am not a fan of non-fiction, but a book about ice cream sounds pretty great. Though, I am struggling with someone being judgmental when it comes to a frozen dessert.

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    1. Right? I was like, come on, lady, it's ice cream, be happy!

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  6. Ooo, if you'd like an inside look at a restaurant try out Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney. It's told in the second person and makes it feel like you're there!

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  7. Hmmm, do beverages count? This book about wine caught my eye a while back. I thought it sounded fun yet informative, but I still haven't read it yet. It's called Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking.

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  8. I'm a huge Michael Pollan fan - for the history of certain foods read The Botany of Desire, but I also found The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defence of Food great reads as well.

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  9. Such a fun topic, food! One that come to mind for me is Salt by Mark Kurlansky.

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  10. Personally I don't read much nonfiction (when I do, it's usually about World War II), but wow, it's hard to be judgmental about ice cream. 😱

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  11. Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton I've heard is really good, but I have not gotten to it yet!

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  12. I don't read enough about food, but enjoy food related fiction. Going to stalk these comments for suggestions.

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  13. I wish I had anything to recommend! I definitely know nothing about ice cream XD

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  14. Oh this is fun. Ice cream... now I want some haha! I don't think I have any good food book recs, although I have been kinda wanting to read something by Michael Pollan. One of these days hopefully...

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  15. I have heard of this book before, but have never read any reviews for it. It does sound like a really fun concept. I have come across a few foodie books that have a judgmental tone as well. It is really bothersome, isn't it?

    There is a new Cooking with Nonna book on NG if you are interested in Italian holiday cooking. I have had my eye on it for a few days now and I can't decide if I have time to review it. lol :)

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    1. My mom's family is Italian, so we've been doing Italian holiday cooking my whole life! I'm sure it could teach us something new, though!

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  16. Hmmm. SOme of the foodie related books that I enjoyed are recipe books! Books by Nigella Lawson being my favourite! I also like Lorna Jane's books too. :)

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  17. Oh gosh, I don’t read too much nonfiction. I should read more. I can’t think of any great non fiction food books I have read aside from recipe books. If you find some good ones, I hope you post abotu them.

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  18. Great topic... Although I don't have any recs myself. Books about food often leave me craving food. Haha!

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    1. Haha, I know! Maybe this wasn't such a good idea...

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  19. I have 2 awesome books for you on food/restaurants: https://wordsandpeace.com/2017/12/05/book-review-a-taste-of-paris/
    and
    https://wordsandpeace.com/2016/12/15/book-review-pancakes-in-paris/
    And My post is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2018/11/14/nonfiction-november-2018-expert-on-books-on-books/

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  20. I really enjoyed The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavour by Mark Schatzker. It's a history of food flavours andadditives and what it has done to our diet.

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  21. I'm going to second the Michael Pollan recommendation, because I loved his The Botany of Desire. Cork Dork, by a woman who decides to become a sommelier having started not knowing anything about wine, was a ton of fun. Mark Kurlansky's Salt wasn't my favorite, but he writes a lot of food nonfiction, so he might be worth checking out. And The Food Explorer was a fun history of how a lot of crops were brought to the US (although I don't think it particularly addressed issues of colonialism). Great topic! I'm surprised I've not read more food nonfiction, so I'll definitely be checking out the other recommendations.

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    1. Thank you, Kate! I heard about Cork Dork from someone else, too!

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  22. I love books about food, but haven't read any this year... must remedy that before it's too late. Michael Pollan is excellent. I especially enjoyed Cooked, he narrates the audio version himself. Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman was a favorite last year. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss is a gem from a few years ago, but be prepared - it will make you angry! I see Katie recommended Cork Dork, so I'll give it a second.

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  23. After skimming through the comments, I think my recommendations are going to be similar to what others have said! Mark Kurlansky writes lots of great food nonfiction, but I can't really recommend a specific title. I read Cork Dork earlier this year and liked it a lot. Lots of great suggestions in the comments!

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  24. I'm excited to read Sweet Spot, it sounds like a fun read!

    I read chef Edward Lee's Buttermilk Graffiti this year and it was really interesting - it was about his travels throughout the US exploring the intersection of immigrant culinary culture on American cuisine. It has recipes too and the ones I've made have been fantastic. He shows something of how these different cuisines have contributed to the American melting pot. Sarah Lohman's Eight Flavors is also fantastic, it's a history of what she's identified as the primary flavors that have been used in American cuisine and significantly altered it in some way and become incorporated into the mainstream (things like black pepper, chili powder, even MSG!) It was completely fascinating. I learned so much from that book! Great topic and suggestions for this one!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!