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Best Food Writing 2014

(Best Food Writing)

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  34 reviews
For fourteen years, Best Food Writing has served up the creme de la creme of the year's food writing. The 2014 edition once again offers the tastiest prose of the year, from a range of voices: food writing stars, James Beard Award winners, writer-chefs, bestselling authors, and up-and-coming bloggers alike. With new sections devoted to "A Table for Everyone" and "Back to B ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Da Capo Lifelong Books
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Lisa Feld
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a thoughtful collection that lives up to its name, both for the quality of the writing and the attention to the trends and priorities of the food world right now: the articles on sustainability question whether local is necessarily better, explore food sources like foraging, and catalog the flavor profiles of insects. There are in-depth pieces that include one on the surprising source of the $4 toast craze and another on the reasons we hold onto the myth of the condemned prisoner's last ...more
Dan
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Surprised by how much I enjoyed this compilation. Had read just a few pieces previously but even those were worth revisiting (Saslow on SNAP and J. Kenji López-Alt's best chocolate chip cookies endeavor). Learned, laughed, and maybe even shed a tear. Warning: reading before bed may increase late night snacking urges.

Tracey
I like these annual collections a lot, and I loved this one. Excellent collection of essays.
Linda
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read. For my "taste" there were a few essays that I found not to my liking. For example, I cannot imagine eating insects. I did enjoy the writers I follow and found a few new ones. For "foodies" and those interested in following food trends, I recommend this highly. Best of all, one can select an essay and move on to other reading material. Good book to bring along for standing on lines or places with long wait lines. Enjoy!
Melissa
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful collection of short stories on a broad range of food topics--everything from cooking the best chocolate chip cookies to giving prisoners their last meals to the ways that food connects us to family. I thought it was well-curated and a delightfully diverse collection. I'll definitely be looking for the 2017 version when it comes out next year!
Katie
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"If a great-tasting carrot is tied to the abundance of soil organisms, a bad-tasting carrot comes from the absence of soil life. Which is the big distinction between organic and chemical agriculture." (187)
Beth
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Some really great entries mixed with some that I wouldn't quite consider worthy of the superlative.
Antigone
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays-shorts
Holly Hughes has been at this since 2000; fourteen years sieving through articles and essays on food, food prep, and the people engaged in the art of satisfying hunger. Her judgment here is exceptional, her selections not only cutting edge but top drawer in terms of writing and personal expression. In this one modest, annually-produced paperback is a treasure trove of material on taste, trend and tribulation at work in the current culinary world. It's got to be the best-kept secret in the cookin ...more
Wendi
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Last Christmas, there was a gift under the tree from my boyfriend. It was obviously a book. I was doubtful. I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to books, so I know what's out, and I know what's coming, and it's rare that I haven't already vetted the options and if it's something I want, I've either requested an advance copy from the publisher, am first on hold at the library, or have already bought it, either in print or digital.

So it was a fantastic surprise when I unwrapped Best Food Writing 201
...more
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This anthology series, The Best Food Writing, is not part of those other anthology series you see every fall. It's all on its own, edited by the same editor, Holly Hughes, every year since 2000. Although I didn't discover Best Food Writing until 2003, once I found it I had to go back and read the volumes I'd missed up to that point. I discovered new writers and publications -- what a treasure.

Then, about ten years into the series I stopped enjoying the annual collections. They'd become "Pollan-i
...more
Iowa City Public Library
Best Food Writing 2014, edited by Holly Hughes, is a delightful collection from food writers of all stripes; from chef-writers and food bloggers to food magazine and cookbook writers. Now in its 15th year, Best Food Writing continues to provide a tasty sample of the best in food writing found in print and online. Divided into eight sections readers can sample from 50 pieces beginning with The Way We Eat Now and ending with Extreme Eating.

One of my favorite pieces is The Science of the Best Choco
...more
Erin Nudi
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Not riveting the entire way through, but there was definitely some excellent food writing in here, not to mention a few great recipes. My favorites were:

1) The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt - Cookies are examined from a scientific point of view, examining what happens when you add cake flour over bread flour, baking soda over baking powder, etc., etc, allowing you to perfectly tailor your preference for chewy or soft or spread out wide or standing tall, etc.,
...more
Kayl Parker
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
1// Learning How to Taste / "The taste of these shrimp changes from day to day, depending on the conditions of the ocean. Eating them is really like tasting the ocean on that day."

2// Tomato Pie / "...and the recipe is smeared but still readable and the tomatoes are so fresh and so red that I swear, there has never been anything that red since."

3// Fixed Menu / "What's most remarkable to me is the culinary creativity the limited resources of prison yield. All Indiana Department of Corrections of
...more
Mtbike40
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-information
Stories about food have become more popular than ever, and with so many places to go to get great stories and view points on food you are bound to miss some of the best. The 2014 collection of Best Food Writing is a great way to get some of the best possible articles, opinions and thoughts about food that you might have missed.

One of my favorite parts about this collection of stories is the diversity of food writing that has been put into one source. While I may not agree with all of the stories
...more
Carrie Padgett
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's a bit daunting to offer a review of a book that is already self-proclaimed as "The Best." Good thing Best Food Writing 2014 lives up to its name. A well curated collection of essays, profiles, and articles, each selection deserves its place in this annual compendium. The articles range from serious examinations of current events (feeding families on food stamps and food bank handouts) to humorous (choosing homemade ketchup over a longtime friend). There are memories (tomato pie in Rhode Isl ...more
Karen
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am not an adventurous eater yet mid-way through reading Best Food Writing 2014 edited by Holly Hughes I found myself in a Russian grocery store. I asked the grocer to choose food for me that she thought was tasty and representative . I taste tested meat, fish, cheese, dessert. I brought home a shopping bag of salami's, smoked fish, blintze and custard layer cake. I would not have had this happy adventure without reading this anthology.

The Best Food Writing brings together articles and essays f
...more
Odette Cortés
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As an avid literary foodie I was thrilled when I got to read this book. The Best Food Writing of 2014 is a collection of essays and articles found in different magazines, journals or blogs written by an assortment of people from different backgrounds. You will find articles by food critics, journalists and other people who’ve decided to write about relevant subjects regarding food. The book is definitely an assortment of different subjects, from food nostalgias to addressing the quality of food ...more
Pearse Anderson
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
God did I love this book. Some essays were lower than average but wow, when they say best food writing they really mean the best. The insight, the perspectives, the order of paragraphs and thoughts and essays were all fantastic. This taught me how to write a food essay way more than Will Write For Food ever did. Some parts of this collection were some of the best essays I've ever read. It also showed me who writes what, who's in my area, what specialities of food writing exist and how the food w ...more
Maryann
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I use one of these collections every year in my Food Writing class, and I still had a few essays left to read in this one. So I decided to finish reading them. My favorite essay in this collection was the one about handing down the holiday cooking to a new person, as it really resonated with me the idea of cooking the traditions as well as changing them. It does make a big difference to think about the ideas of what one person wants to cook and what others want to eat. It's often very difficult ...more
E
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
As always: foods and meals I want to eat, meals I have no desire to experience. This one, more than the others in the series I've read so far, underscored what a privileged act it is to be a foodie, or to write about food. Sections delving into the social aspects of food, got into the sociopolitical: food deserts, a profile of a family living and cooking on food supplied through government assistance. And then, flip a few pages further, and there's pages of odes to heirloom tomatoes, to foie gra ...more
Mysteryfan
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: foodie-files
This is a fascinating collection of essays on several levels. The writing is topnotch but in many different styles. The content is very strong - the article on people receiving food assistance was almost painful. The people - both those described and the authors - are engaging. And of course, food. Holly Hughes has been editing the series for I think five years and she comes up with good authors every time.
Nikki
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
There were only a couple of essays in this book that I had already read elsewhere, and only a couple more that I skimmed or skipped, which adds up to a fine anthology in my book. So interesting that I immediately procured a few of the back numbers. This does not appear to be part of the "Best XXXXX" series (such as Best American Mystery Stories, Essays, Sports Writing, and so on) but is equally as well selected. Recommended for anyone with an interest in food.
Matt
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it

As to be expected with a compendium of 50 food related selections, there were some great stories and some not so great stories. I think the book would benefit from an additional curation toward 25 very solid articles, but I'm sure the publisher had an overall minimum page requirement.

This is one case where the editor Holly Hughes could have used an editor herself.

When push comes to shove, I'd probably rate it 3.5 stars, but there's no half star ratings as of yet.
Jean-marie
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I discovered writers that I was not previously familiar with and will now pursue other articles/books written by them.
I found myself highlighting and making notes frequently - which is unusual for me. I look forward to future BFW editions.
Rachel Rogers
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Somehow I did alot of food reading over the last year since I had already read a few of these. Some I skipped entirely, others were fascinating, others a bit tedious. Entertaining look at what is happening in food from trends to research to recipes.
Phaedra
I enjoyed this, as I have the rest of this series. They are stories of people, places, families, heritage and food connects them all. Solid entry, but I didn't care for the extreme eating pieces. That's just me. I found myself skimming that last section quickly.
Sarah
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Not the best of the series, but much better than some recent editions! Notable for the "toast craze" article alone.
Kate
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super enjoyable read, both for the scope and variety of subject matter. Especially enjoyed the essay about the New Haven chef who cooks invasive species.
Amy Stilgenbauer
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lots of really quality writing this year and a nice diverse mix of journalism, profiles, and recipes. I especially enjoyed Silas House's piece on pickled baloney.
Chanda Guerin
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved the writings, especially the food insecurity and accessibility section!!
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