Bedside Reading for the Culinarily Inclined

by Amy Sherman
Print Email

What do you consider a good beach read? Something entertaining? Light and fluffy? What about a bedside book? I like a vacation read that I can completely lose myself in, but next to my bed I need something I can pick up and put down endlessly. Right now I have a few of those books.

beabetterfoodie.jpg The first is How to Be a Better Foodie and it's subtitled "a bulging little book for the truly epicurious." Can I just say if there is anything more irritating than someone using the word foodie, it has to be someone using the brand name epicurious as if they made it up. It's a website, ok? Despite the annoying title, the book is a lot of fun. It's filled with little tidbits of information that you will either find essential or completely trivial but either way it is equal parts entertaining and informative. Do you know how mustard got its name? What to savor in Franche-Comte? What and who inspired the famous blue Le Creuset? What season to eat fresh lotus flower root? It's all in there and then some. It's not a book to read cover to cover but it it enjoyable nonetheless.

foodtreasury.jpg Another book I dare say you won't read cover to cover is A Food Lover's Treasury. The tidbits in this book are all literary. Browse through bon mots or longer passages. You might find the perfect tagline, I rather like "one can say everything best over a meal." The book is organized in a pleasantly idiosyncratic way, again, it's perfect for picking at, like a plate of tapas or mezze. The book favors authors from England and English speaking countries with a few exceptions. Authors from Jane Austen to Emile Zola are included in the book so you're sure to find something to enlighten, enchant or just to while away the time until you fall asleep.

foodsnobs.jpg My final pick is The Food Snob's Dictionary. It's the kind of book that can make you feel smug for knowing who Gilbert Le Coze is, the difference between Wagyu and Kobe and how to correctly pronounce Grant Achatz. Of course, my esteemed local bloggers may take great offense to the definition of the Ferry Plaza Marketplace as a "one-stop San Francisco mecca for Food Snobs" then again, maybe not. The recent popularity of the Omnivore's 100 is an indication that we like showing off what we know and what we've tasted. This book falls in that category and the definitions are sometimes witty, sometimes snide and sometimes up for debate.




Amy Sherman is a San Francisco–based writer, recipe developer, restaurant reviewer and all around culinary enthusiast. She blogs for Epicurious , Bay Area Bites and Cooking with Amy .  

Comments have been closed for this piece.


restaurant news

A Night at Angelus
London - British Isles
by Carolan Nathan

angelusLondon has become a mecca for great restaurants...contrary to the myth that has grown up probably due to ignorance and jealousy especially by the French and also by many Americans unfortunately. A...

All About Austin's Food Trucks
by David Latt

img 4784Austin has a lot going on. Besides being the state capital, the city has amazing music venues with a great collection of bars and a dynamic food scene. Austin has it all. Upscale, fine dining...

Los Angeles
by Maia Harari

fraiche.jpgI know I’m really late to the game on this one, but I finally went to Fraiche in Culver City. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t just chance that kept me from trying it. It’s not that I don’t want...

Seafood Satisfaction at Pier 46
Southern California
by Lisa Dinsmore

pier46logo200.jpgThough I'm not a betting person, I would have put my small stash of savings on the line if anyone had told me a year ago that I would become a seafood lover. While still not on the sushi...