Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Five Books That Made Maleka Want to Eat

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to eat. I also love to cook. I LOVE reading about eating, especially about foods from around the world. Some of my favorite scenes in novels/memoirs are of food preparation or feasts with all kinds of people attending. Here’s a list of books that have excellent eating scenes, all of which made me want to bust out some utensils as soon as I was done reading and enjoy a hearty meal.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, $15.00)
I know, I know. This book has a lot of hype already. But I cannot deny the food scenes in Italy. The main character of Liz sitting in the middle of Italy eating fresh asparagus and eggs or chomping on the best pizza described on the planet is simply amazing.

Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich (Storey, $12.95)
Her combination of dark chocolate and awesome coffee and her descriptions of fresh pasta and homemade bread made my day.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner, $14.95)
Two words: Indian food.

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel (Ten Speed Pr., $24.99)
This is simply a fantastic book. It presents photo shoots of families from all over the world posed with one week's worth of all the food and drink they consume. It is interesting to see the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in most of the poorer families' households versus a huge amount of processed and junk foods in the richer households. I loved the photo spread of what people ate for breakfast all over the world. Savory noodles, yum!

Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen (Penguin, $14.00)
Bich is like me - she likes reading about food too. Her memoir is packed with scenes from her childhood and adolescence where she sits cuddling a book and reading long passages about food in Little House on the Prairie, dreams about eating "American food" which involves mostly processed cheese product, and eats in the kitchen with her beloved grandmom who fries thin potatoes for her almost every afternoon and serves up traditional Vietnamese soups. I was craving both traditional Vietnamese dishes AND American junk food after reading this.

December 2010, Maleka Fruean

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