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3.9 out of 5 stars
Best Food Writing 2011
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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If you've not read a previous year's collection by Holly Hughes let me introduce you to this great series.

Each year Holly Hughes compiles the best writing about food for that year. This year her compilation began just as she was renovating her kitchen and so for four months while she read about incredible food and food experiences; she was ordering take-out pizza and living in a house with a non-functioning kitchen.

This edition features a new section: Guilty Pleasures. Things like Tater Tots, fast food, fried food; good stuff like that.

Who could have imagined a hundred years ago that food could be so political, so divisive? A Tale of Two Dairies tells of the sad plight of small dairies and their attempt to compete with the dairies that have thousands and thousands of cows.

I was thrilled to read an excerpt from Gabriell Hamilton's book; Blood,Bones and Butter. I loved the book, and this excerpt reminded me I want to reread it.

I loved reading a piece by "Fry Girl" wherein she tells of her daily struggle to eat constantly and only fried foods from all sorts of discovered joints.

The shark fin ban in San Francisco totally passed beneath my radar until reading about it here. Cecilia Chiang, at 92 years old, reminisces of her trips to Japan and back solely to carry the top-quality shark fin back to her restaurant, the Mandarin, in San Francisco.

Deborah Madison takes a little break from the vegetarian cooking she normally writes about to write of the nostalgia, the history and memories associated with recipes hand written on 3 X 5 cards, or various scraps of menus, napkins, stationary from a lecture. The ability to read between the lines, gather memories from the menu, recall the individual because of her unique writing; all of that is lost when we cut and paste the link to a recipe on-line.

Most disgusting, and at the same time a extremely amusing, was Christopher Kimball's piece on mock turtle soup. Yes, because eating turtles with toenails removed and head pealed of skin isn't disgusting enough; someone out there in cooking la la land needed to have a mock version as well. So they use a calf head. The dilemma is: remove the brains before boiling or not? Remove the eyes and teeth first or not? Scrape the nasal cavity, by all means!

This is a book to savor, and I always love the cover art. I like to scoot around in the book and read haphazardly, first from the back then to the front and then everything between. I look forward to the Best Food Writing every year; I couldn't wait for this to arrive in my mailbox.

Holly Hughes has done a great editing job and I am certain there will be more than one piece that you will absolutely love reading about.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is the first issue in the "Best Food Writing of ..." that I have read. And what a delightful book. You can open it anywhere and enjoy the writing whether you are a foodie or not. The pieces are short and extremely varied which make it a good pick-up-nd-put-down book. From high French cuisine to road food, it's yummy. Don't read it if you are hungry and can't get to a kitchen or cafe. A good place to start is with the article "Saints, Cakes, and Redemption" on page 61.
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on November 26, 2013
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I really like this series. Holly does a great job of culling through the best food writing of the year and builds nice themes. I will continue to buy them as long as she keeps coming out with new ones each year. There are always a couple stories I've already read, but I've always felt, boy am I glad I'm reading this story again. A great overview of the trends, subjects and ideas that reflect the year in food as well as timeless classics that are great to know and love.
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on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Found this particular edition to be less about food and cooking which I prefer and lots of related but not very interesting other articles. Appeared to be "filler" to complete the book. Other years have been very rewarding reading for a gourmet.
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VINE VOICEon June 28, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have enjoyed these compilations for at least 3 years, but as with food writing there is only so much to be said. This book I feel is the slowest of the previous few I have read. In hoping for something a little different and a little off beat I continued through the entire book only to be left wanting something new and different. It seems that the person who put this together gets hung up on just a few of the many ways of taking in this type of writing and leaves little room for the more unique pieces. It was a good run for sure but without some changes, this should be the last one of these that you read.
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on December 17, 2012
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It could be that I'm mis-remembering, but I think this series was much better in its earlier years. A lot of the writing now is from blogs, and frankly I find much of it boring.
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on September 5, 2013
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I read 2012. I liked it so much, I ordered previous years. Really interesting and diverse. If you like reading about food, you will like it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As a published author, food writer and blogger about food, I'm always on the lookout for wonderfully written books and articles about food and travel, another heavy-on-food genre. After all, we can't eat scenery and really do tend to remember those wonderful meals enjoyed away from home. Consequently, I'm usually a bit hyper critical of food writing but this collection definitely makes the grade and hit the spot for me.

One of my favorite -albeit old time, foodie writers remains M.K. Fisher so I was thrilled to enjoy a collection of writing that definitely did NOT disappoint m. Better yet, it was true to its title, "Best Food Writing." And that noted, readers who enjoyed The Best Food Writing of 2011 might also enjoy another one of my favorites entitled, Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Any good writing is a pleasure to read. If you love food, no, passionate about food to a degree to you call yourself a foodie, this book rates very high for you. If you are a good home cook who enjoys food and cooking, you are likely to flip over the pages and lose interest very quickly. Yes, the writing is very good, every one of the 45 carefully selected food writers know how to grab your attention and hold it--provided you have interest in the subject. Subject that varies widely covering virtually any topic related to food, cooking and eating: environment, food trends, politics, culture, fast foods, even philosophy. This is the eleventh year of Best Food Writing and apparently the readers are there to continue. Each of the seven sections separated by topics include six to eight writers. The sections are Foodways, Home Cooking, Stocking the Pantry, Food Fights, Guilty Pleasures, Someone's in the Kitchen and Personal Tastes. The book is un-illustrated, soft-cover and not meant to last long. The stories are short; perfect for reading when you have ten minutes to sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2012
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I am interested in the art of descriptive food writing and this book is a great example of that, condensed into one volume.
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