Food and eating are essential parts of our lives but they are seldom given serious thought. Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food (Seal Press) combines good storytelling with good fare and proves that not all women writers are on a diet. Food may have the power to tempt (Elizabeth Nunez’s obsession is the swirly perfection of soft-serve ice cream) and to soothe (Theresa Lust glories in the simplicity of sauerkraut), but its primary function is social.
Most stories tie food intimately to family and identity: recipes passed down through generations strengthen bonds, and our understanding of new cultures begins when we share food. Rachel Fudge claims that the tradition of cocktail hour keeps her family harmonious, Pooja Makhinjani trades chutney and lentil soup for an All-American lunch and lifestyle, and Alisa Gordaneer serves up her placenta on a platter (really!). The passion for food shown here indicates that this generation is turning its back on shortcut culture and appreciating the time spent simmering a good sauce.
My only disappointment is that the French fries that grace the cover don’t begin to capture the magnificent spirit of the African egg casserole, chocolate orange mandelbrot and aloo tikka inside.