For food lovers, the next best thing to eating is reading about it. Best Food Writing 2001
, compiled by Holly Hughes, offers these and other readers the year's most memorable food writing from books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and Web sites. Like its predecessor, Best Food Writing 2000
, the book is a banquet--51 pieces on food in all its nutritional, gustatory, psychological, sociological, and, in short, personal glory. Dip into the book anywhere and enjoy, for example, Jeffrey Steingarten on bluefin tuna, Molly O'Neill discussing the glories of soup, William Grimes on comfort food, and Coleman Andrews on eating in Rome. Readers also journey to Paris (of course) in the form of Michael Lewis's wonderfully cranky paean to cassoulet (with recipe), and with John T. Edge in his search for the best Parisian Southern fried chicken (it exists); they also follow humorist Calvin Trillin as he seeks desperately for superior ceviche in Peru, Ecuador, and Queens, New York. Also included are excerpts from Ruth Reichl's bestselling Comfort Me with Apples
and Patric Kuh's The Last Days of Haute Cuisine
. There's more, of course, on topics as diverse as the agonies of dinner-party hosting, a chef's-eye view of dining out, and preparing perfect rice. Ideal for bedtime reading, the book also makes a great gift for fellow foodaholics who can't get enough of their favorite passion. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Following last year's initial anthology, which she also edited, Hughes (Frommer's New York City with Kids) serves up this year's offerings like a satisfying, well-rounded meal. The selections are divided into six sections: Stocking the Larder, Food Fights, Home Cooking, Someone's in the Kitchen, Dining Around and Personal Tastes. The contributors include food industry insiders as well as professional writers who are lay foodies in their spare time, Jeffrey Eugenides and Malcolm Gladwell among them. From notable food critics like Colman Andrews and Ruth Reichl to such writers as Derek Cooper and Mort Rosenblum, the anthology provides engaging insight into food, cooking, eating and various relevant cultural and emotional phenomena. With extracts culled from books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet, the compilation ranges from the serious "Toro, Toro, Toro" by Jeffrey Steingarten to the amusing "Abstinence Makes the Taste Buds Grow Fonder" by David Leite. Short, light pieces provide welcome interludes to the longer, denser fare. All are enjoyable and worthwhile. Foodies will recognize many of the selections from magazines such as Gourmet and Food & Wine and books such as The Last Days of Haute Cuisine by Patric Kuh and Reichl's Comfort Me with Apples. (Dec.)Forecast: Foodies browsing extracts such as Rosenblum's delightful "Another Roadside Attraction," taken from A Goose in Toulouse, will likely walk away with a copy and may probe the shelves for books excerpted in this volume.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.