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Best Food Writing 2008

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Best Food Writing 2008 once more authoritatively and appealingly assembles the finest culinary prose from the past year’s books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and Web sites. This anthology features both established food writers and rising stars addressing everything from celebrated chefs to the travails of the home cook, and from erudite culinary history to food-insp ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Rosiel
Caution: Best Food Writing 2008 may whet your appetite! The essays range from the intense: descriptions of life in the kitchens of some of the finest and most influential restaurants in America, to the heartwarming: a tale of red beans and rice that make you homesick for New Orleans, whether or not you've ever been there. Some are educational, covering topics like cloned meat and how to make the perfect braise, while others take on the political: the ban on foie gras sale in Chicago, and still o ...more
Bob
If you like food and food culture, these "Best of..." collections are something to have on the shelf. I got this one from the library and I look forward to hunting previous editions down in used bookstores in the coming years.

The writing is...well..."The Best of" the food writing that I've been exposed to yet. These articles and snippets are almost as good as cooking and eating. They make you want to learn more, eat slower, and live with more intention.

I loved the stories about food politics, pr
...more
Rebecca
More uneven than I remember from past editions. Possibly the fault of the zeitgeist and not the editor. She writes in the forward that this year found everyone "gloomily debating how to fix our broken food system... everyone seems to have an opinion; no one seems to have a solution." Certainly the "Food Fight" section that leads off the book is yet more ranty Pollan fallout without direction. I also could have done with a lighter helping of requisite zany-celebrity chef exposes and meat-glutton ...more
Peggy
Great book! It's a collection of essays from various publications around the country, and nearly all of them made me hungry. Because of it, I tried fried clams (not clam strips, but actual clams) with bellies. And I was both revolted and intrigued by cuy, which is guinea pig.

I love that many of the essays delve into the culture and history of a particular food and the people who make it. I love all the essays for healthy eating and slow food, juxtaposed with ones touting the beauty and delicious
...more
Laurel
I'm so glad a coworker found one of these editions in a giveaway stack at work and brought it to my attention. While, of course, there were some that weren't of that much interest to me, the majority were excellent and provided a great break between chapters of other books I was reading. Particular favorites in the '08 edition include "Roadtrip to Chinatown: Tasting Your Heritage, One Bite at a Time" by Eve M. Tai; "Yes, Virginia, They Do Eat Guinea Pigs" by Scott Gold (this was hilarious and no ...more
Adele Bonnie
I really enjoyed reading this year's Best Food Writing (I think I liked 2007's better). There are essays on everything food related, from the difficult restaurant business to why many vegetarians have started eating meat (there were tons of essays on meat this year, for some reason). I can't wait to make it downtown (New York) to check out the cured meats mentioned in The Salami Maker Who Fought the Law. I might even be inspired to find the Ecuadorian place (also in New York -- good thing I live ...more
Sarah
I read this compilation every year, and this one was not up to the usual standard. I don't know if it's because of the decline of magazines, generally, or just that this year's topics didn't interest me as much. I read food blogs A LOT, so it shouldn't be just because blogs are included (although maybe they don't translate to book form). I'm looking forward to 2009!
Sarah
It may be that food writing itself is declining, but this volume is noticeably weaker than the previous installments in this series. Perhaps the struggle of magazines and print media is partly to blame. Hughes does include some online writing, but not from several of the best food sites (such as Serious Eats). I enjoyed it, but I was also disappointed.
Joseph Carley
Fun read with a nice variety of writing styles and topics. Most of the essays are 3-5 pages. A little heavy on the "praise of pork" essays, but the editor explains the essay choices in an understandable manner. The editor managed to avoid filling the book with "farm to table" essays, which I appreciated, since that topic is already over-played.
Ananya Sarkar
Tremendously interesting articles - especially the one on Alinea, the food/science/art envelope-pushing restaurant in Chicago.

I also loved the piece on David Chang (or is it Cheng?) and his team opening the most recent Momofuku restaurant, Ko.

So glad I own this - I'm going to go back and re-read pieces for sure.
Megan
May 26, 2009 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Eden
Recommended to Megan by: Joyce
This is rollicking fun. And "Waiterly Conduct," the piece by Jess Thomson about Chicago restaurant Alinea, specifically made me want to share it with a certain friend named Eden.
Catherine
This book had many great essays on food. If you're a foodie, enjoy watching the Food Network, and/or Top Chef, I highly recommend this entertaining compendium.
heather
So far seems like 2008 was a good year for food writing -- the past two years' collections needed some seasoning.
Sarah
Didn't read every single article, but I read most of them. Fascinating!
Alisha Hall
I am going to finish this later. I did enjoy what I read.
Charlotte
Good parts and bad parts. Skip the parts you don't like!
Jules
Feb 19, 2013 Jules added it
reading mostly for ideas for my food writing class...
Kerith
This set of essays was one of the best yet.
Andrea
Excellent book of short stories about food!
Barbara
light and fun. Kept making me hungry!
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Maeve
Maeve marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
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