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Best Food Writing 2011

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  204 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Food writing has exploded in the past decade; nowhere else is it as easy and enjoyable to catch the trends, big stories, and upcoming stars than in the annual Best Food Writing collection. From molecular gastronomy to the omnivore’s dilemma, from meat-free to wheat-free to everything goes, there’s something for every foodie in this acclaimed series. Best Food Writing 2011 ...more
336 pages
Published 2011
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Dec 25, 2011 Logan rated it liked it
This collection defied my preconceptions that I'd be reading about food reviews or restaurant surveys. Contained with in are several fantastic essays that skip between philosophical ruminations (Reconsider The Oyster by Tim Hayward, a really incredible piece), hilarious experiments in desserts (Purple Reign by Alan Brouilette), and wacky cook biographies (I Believe I Can Fry by Katy Vine) -- among many other varieties of writing. I definitely learned a lot more about food, where it comes from, h ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Alice rated it liked it
Lots of fun. If you like to cook or to eat or both, you'll enjoy these essays. One essay in fact was the funniest essay I've read in a long time -- worth the price of the book (or better yet, get it from your library). The essays range from what we'd call restaurant reviews to meditations on family get-togethers to the effect of weather on farming and beyond. If you don't care to read about clams, for example, turn a few pages, and you'll find an essay on a totally different topic. Great book fo ...more
Mar 18, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it
This is a fun, interesting, and informative collection of writing about food, cooking, restaurants, farms, food blogging, and the food industry. The nice mix of personal stories and professional reports kept me entertained and taught me some new things. I'll be picking up next year's edition.
May 08, 2014 JDK1962 rated it liked it
Good writing for the most part, thought there were exceptions. For example, "We Shall Not Be Moved," on soul food, read like a badly written term paper, and "The Feed Frenzy" read like it was written by someone with ADHD (no coherent thought or flow, just paragraphs thrown at the wall like spaghetti in the apparent hope that a few might stick). Due to my own food aversions, I found Christopher Kimball's article on mock turtle soup to be well-written and utterly disgusting, and "Befriending Your ...more
Rogue Reader
May 06, 2012 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it
I love Holly Hughes' writing, and always enjoy her New York Times columns. I've been saving the Best Food Writing anthologies for a couple of years, and for whatever reason, decided to start with the 2011 collection.

How fun! In the Foodways section - Loved Alan Brouilette's Purple Reign (thinking about the purple carrots I found last year at the Portland Farmers Market), Rick Nelson's From Kenya, With Love (Kenya shaping a Minneapolis suburb). Stocking the Pantry gave me Livingston's Broccolini
Aug 15, 2012 Monica rated it it was ok
I hate to say it, but if this was the best food writing of 2011, I'd hate to see the worst food writing of 2011. Ok, that's a bit harsh. This is a book of essays, so naturally each essay will be hit or miss. But, even the editing of this book was bad. There were lots of typos, and some of the essays just didn't make sense thematically in the section in which they were placed.

On the bright side, there were some essays that I did like, particularly "The Apostle of Indulgence," which was a chef pr
Dec 15, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Ahh . .. food. Good food writing is one of my favorite genres. Loving this book so far, but some stories are definitely better than others.

Everything comes from the sea
I found this story a bit tedious. The author was trying to tell a tale of how the approach to seafood in Venice will change as a result of European food regulations (and he may have been also making a deeper point of the impact of the EU generally on food) It seemed to be a collection of descriptions of food and names of food. Th
Aug 30, 2015 E rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie, kindle, library
Lots of fun. Each story introduced me to a kind of food or cooking or an approach to cooking. More importantly, each story conveyed memory or culture or the context of the food to make my inner anthropologist happy. Some were foods I want to eat, and drooled over the pages. (Seafood in Venice, bread in family kitchens, pie, Chinese dumplings) Others, not so much (mock turtle soup, foie gras)
Apr 21, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
Like most anthologies, a mixture of enjoyable and forgettable. The oyster piece is great, as are Chang-Rae Lee's memoir of a Korean family's Thanksgiving and a daughter's quest to sort out the mystery of her non-cooking mother's "Sklootini" recipe; all are about more than food. A couple are hilarious, like "Purple Reign," about a mammoth sweet potato baking endeavor that occurred in Sheboygan, WI, and the portrait of the Texas State Fair's champion fry chef. Many of the pieces are less than a ha ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
If you are a foodie, there is always some real gems in these Best Food Writing nonfiction collections...........along with some essays that aren't as interesting. I always enjoy the humorous and poignant ones but tend to skim through the strictly 'this is the meal I ate' ones. (Which are only a small percentage of what's in there.) There is one essay on dairy farmers in here that was so shockingly emotional and starkly horrifying that I will probably never forget it. And that is why I keep comin ...more
Sharon Secor
Dec 01, 2013 Sharon Secor rated it really liked it
Food writing is a quirky and esoteric genre. Despite the writer's best intentions, after all, you can't taste the food. So the best writers are those who lead you into a full blown experience...tramping through a dairy barn to capture fresh milk, exploring the scientific intricacies of the perfect french fry. Holly Hughes culls every literary water to collect those stories year after year and, even if I didn't want to shoot that wild boar, I have trailed along on the hunt and will enjoy the luau ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Tracey rated it really liked it
Again, another great collection of food-related essays. I admit that I couldn't finish the one by Christopher Kimball - too much discuss of brains, and the idea of turtle soup makes me kind of ill, anyway.

I especially enjoyed a couple of the food-specific essays in the "Pantry" section - tater tots (heh) and Vienna sausages (it's been decades since I ate one, and I still remember the taste and smell).
Jun 28, 2012 Theresa rated it it was amazing
If you're a foodie, you have to read this. If you aren't, you have to read this, because it will convince you. The writing is excellent, the pieces interesting, informational and philosophical. Food is culture, sitting around a table with people to eat is important, and more than that, food is a time machine that ties us to our pasts. I want to buy this and I never buy books.
Aug 20, 2013 Cassie rated it it was amazing
A fun and easy read. The variety of topics, authors and sources is refreshing and gives a great sense of all the different food writing out there. It was a great vacation book - made me want to keep traveling - but would probably be a great commuter book too, the articles are perfect for short burst reading needs. Definitely recommended if you like food writing.
Nov 10, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
This collection impressed me less than some of its predecessors, though in fairness I read it in fits and starts over a couple of months. In the end, the two pieces that stood out were excerpts from books by Gabrielle Hamilton and Lisa Abend. I bought the former book yesterday and just added the latter to my wishlist.
Jan 23, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Nice collection of essays about, around, and involving food. Somewhat uneven, but when it's good, it's very good indeed. Writing about something as purely sensory as food can be challenging. It was enjoyable seeing the different approaches these writers took to their subject.
Dec 11, 2013 Clare rated it really liked it
Like any annual anthology, it can be uneven, but the standout pieces—“Fruits of Desire,” “The Famous Recipe,” “Magical Dinners,” and “I Believe I can Fry”—are thought-provoking, mouth-watering, and a lot of fun. Worth investigating if you’re into food writing.
Nov 19, 2013 Jrmirq rated it liked it
A last minute "I need a book for the flight" choice. The short story format appeals to me as do some of the stories. It was a good introduction to food and the world that revolves around it. I will read other books, with food as the main character.
Mar 29, 2013 Maryann rated it really liked it
Very useful book that offered a variety of examples of food writing. I used this in my first interterm offering of Food Writing. Would definitely use it again, though I may also want to check out other years to add to my collection.
Feb 28, 2012 E rated it really liked it
GREAT! Read this at my boyfriend's house whenever I can grab it from him....good to pick up and put down. Great short stories about different characters involved with FOOD!
Best anthology I've read all year. Favorites: Thomas Livingston's "Broccolini(tm)", Katie Vine's "I Believe I Can Fry," Bryce Elder's "In Defence of Shite Food."
Oct 04, 2012 Mysteryfan rated it liked it
Shelves: foodie-files
It was a nice collection of essays on all aspects of cooking - politics, recipes, more.
Apr 07, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Best Food Writing is always my favorite fall/winter read!
Jun 18, 2015 Skye rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, food
A very enjoyable and diverse selection.
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