The Best American Food Writing 2021 (The Best American Series ®)
Having never read a collection of food essays before, I was pleasantly surprised by the scope of the subjects covered in The Best American Food Writing 2021. From lost recipes for cheese to the struggle to feed people through the pandemic to the reasons most people will never be able to eat at one of the best restaurants in the world, the book has something for every reader.
One standout essay, Bill Buford’s “Good Bread”, evokes France in such powerful language that you can almost smell the baguettes. His recounting of his own bread apprenticeship and subsequent friendship with the proprietary baker is as beautiful as it is improbable. The hundreds of small coincidences that lead Buford to this shop, to this baker, to this story—well, it’s remarkable.
And Jonathan Kauffman’s marvelous “Get Fat! Don’t Die!” is as much a study of sociopolitical realities for people living with AIDS in the 1990s as it is a study of food. The essay, about the food column of the same name in Diseased Pariah News–what the author calls an “AIDS humor zine”—celebrates the life of the zine’s creator, Beowulf Thorne.
In all of the work in the book, the ability of food to unite is central, and that is what makes The Best American Food Writing 2021 accessible and readable for all.
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