ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Book for Foodies: Before There Were Foodies, There Was MFK Fisher

Updated on July 24, 2014

If You Love Reading About Food You Need This Book

Oh my, what memories ebb and flow when reading Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, or M.F.K. Fisher, as she is better known. I first enjoyed some of her essays while in college and could not believe how clearly she understood that food nourishes in so many ways. Of course I was young and pretty sure I knew everything; I was just proud M.F.K. was keeping up with me.

Now well past that notion, I asked for the book as a holiday gift to reacquaint myself with Fisher's evocative writing and her unique sense of place, atmosphere and, of course, food. Flavors, history, method and passion are all interwoven to make this collection of her writings satisfying on multiple levels. Although it has been in print for a decade, I had somehow missed the collection it when reissued, so was delighted to revisit Fisher's five iconic books, Serve It Forth, Consider the Oyster, How to Cook a Wolf, The Gastronomical Me and An Alphabet for Gourmets.

At one time or another I owned, begged, borrowed or stole (briefly) each of these books and devoured it. To now have all five in one 750 page volume is astonishing, bedtime reading for months. Each book within the compendium is a series of individual musings, so you can read three or four pages as your daily M.F.K. taste, or happily feast on a dozen essays if that is your preference. The book is large, 9 by 6 inches, and 2 1/2 inches thick, so invite another pillow to the pajama party if you are reading it in bed, my friends.

Beautiful Writing That Challenges Our Notions Of What It Means To Eat Well

Fisher makes something as ordinary as eating a tangerine breathtakingly compelling. There are some recipes interspersed, but this is primarily a primer on how to approach eating, not a cookbook. Consider it instead the autobiography of a woman who recognized hunger as a search for love, warmth and acceptance, and who was rewarded richly on her quest.

This book can really be life-changing. You will never take food or your dining companions for granted again after reading it. Consider it as a perfect gift for the gourmet in your life. To enjoy food fully we must all contemplate its place in our lives, and M.F.K. Fisher offers the method -- it is up to each of us to provide our own context.

Other Ways To Experience the Art of Eating.

M.F.K. Fisher would approve.

How to Eat
How to Eat

How indeed -- recipes and a feel for food. Read it (and it reads like a novel) and you will know what I mean.

 
The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show
The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show

Lynne's friendly and accessible tone is just what the cook needs to know that everything will be delicious and right.

 
Simple but savory, the kind of food MFK Fisher would approve.
Simple but savory, the kind of food MFK Fisher would approve.

Do you prefer to read cookbooks or books about eating?

See results

Reading About Food

And How To Best Prepare It

Makes One More Adventurous

And a Better Cook

Do you have a favorite book about food that has influenced your life or the recipes that you cook?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @sybil watson: I read Julia's book, too. Such a fascinating life!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      I loved "My Life in France" by Julia Child - her descriptions of the food are so mouth-watering. I don't know how I've missed reading "The Art of Eating", but I definitely have to take a look now!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @KimGiancaterino: It does seem like we all find our cooking muse, doesn't it?

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      My husband is our cook and he loves the New York Times Cookbook. It was on his Christmas wish list a few years back and has taken quite a beating ever since.

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @writerkath: I am always reading about eat -- and eating it, I know, I know! There is a lot out there that gives one pause -- I am now completely wheat free partially because of Wheat Belly. Aches and pains are gone and FAR fewer conference calls in the bathroom.

      MFK Fisher wrote at a different time when the "factory farm" was still in the future. Deliberateness in approaching food and eating, however, never goes out of style. Thanks for your visit.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I have a number of books that have influenced me - some are cookbooks (I have a few favorite Indian cookbooks), and others are educational (e.g. "Wheat Belly" has influenced me in my choice to limit how much wheat I consume, and "Diet for a New America" opened my eyes to the existence of "factory farms," and that has influenced the way I purchase meats). Great lens! I'll have to check out MFK Fisher!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @Im2keys: It is a different approach, certainly, but both women love their food! Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      Im2keys 4 years ago

      Currently, I am such a fan of Ree Drummand, her "pioneer woman" blog and cookbooks have helped me tremendously! I will most surely look at 'The Art of Eating' now- thanks for the review.

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @LiteraryMind: Thank you -- I find her writing to be very enjoyable.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      You make her (MFK's) writing sound so very interesting.

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      @julieannbrady: It's a big world and there is a lot to eat! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Hmmm ... I have a tough time just picking one favorite, you know? As a young foodie, I was appreciating Betty Crocker. Later in life, I've come to appreciate the ethnic cooking books especially Hungarian!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image
      Author

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Thanks so much, Susan!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Good food and great words go deliciously together. Thanks for the great review!