Food History Books

This food history book list combines my love of reading and cooking.

I have been blogging and writing about food and recipes at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures since 2008, so I love to talk about food almost as much as I love to talk about books.

This list is really a list of books about food and restaurant history.

A couple of the books on this list share the story of well-known restaurants. I included them on the list because they have changed America’s food culture in many ways.

It is fascinating to see how food has changed over the years.

food history books on kitchen counter

Food History Books

I love to read books that combine food and history. The main list of books on the list are all books that I have read. I have quite a few in my to be read stack though that I have collected over the years, so I included a few of them at the end of the list.

The American Plate by Libby H. O’Connell. This book is a history of food in America in 100 bite-sized chapters.

It covers everything from corn to Oysters Rockefeller. It gives you the history of oxtail stew, cold cereal, Cracker Jacks, hot dogs, and many other foods.

I enjoyed this book. It is easy to pick up and down because the chapters are short, and each one is on a different food.

If you would like to learn about odd historical facts, this is a fun book.

Pour Your Heart Into It

Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz. Howard Schultz built Starbucks into the company it became. This book is the story of Starbucks’s rise from a little coffee shop in Seattle to a brand recognized around the world.

This is a great book for coffee lovers and those that love books about building businesses.

Onward Book cover

Onward How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz. This is another book about Starbucks, but it is about how Starbucks changed. In 2008, Howard Schultz tried to bring Starbucks back to its founding values.

This is more of a business book, but it is also a book about coffee and Starbucks so I decided to put it on the list. I read this one years ago and enjoyed it.

The Best Cook In the World book review

The Best Cook In the World by Rick Bragg. This book is part cookbook, part Southern food history, and part memoir. Rick Bragg is a well-known Southern writer. His writing shows his love of southern food and culture.

In The Best Cook In the World he shares about southern food over multiple generations.

My Life In France

Life In France by Julia Child. A list of food history books is incomplete with a book about Julia Child. She changed food and cooking in America. She also changed TV with her cooking show.

In Life In France is about Julia Child’s life, especially her life in France and how she developed a love of food and cooking.

This book is a fascinating look into not only Julia Child’s life, but France and it’s food and culture.

How Did You Do It Truett book

How Did You Do It Truett by Truett Cathy. This is the story of Chick-fil-A and how Truett Cathy built it into what it is today. Fast food is a huge part of our culture in America, so I thought a book about fast food needed to make the list.

If you love Chick-fil-A or business-type books, I think you will enjoy this one.

The Mushroom Hunters

The Mushroom Hunters by Langdon Cook. This is a book about mushroom picking in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Oregon and picked mushrooms during the early days of the gourmet mushroom trend in the 1980s.

This book does a great job describing mushrooms, how they grow, and the extent to which people will go to find some varieties growing in the wild.

Hershey by Michael D'Antonio

Hershey by Michael D’Antonio. This is the story of Hershey’s and Hershey’s Chocolate. It is a book about chocolate and how Hershey changed Americans’ view of it. This is a great book for chocolate lovers and for those who love business books.

stack of books about food and food history

Books About Food In My To Be Read Stack

For this list, I am changing it up a little bit and sharing a few books in my to-be-read stack. I have not read these four books, so I can’t give a full review. They look interesting, though, and I can’t wait to read them.

Ten Restaurants That Changed America by Paul Freedman

For God, Country, and Coca-Cola by Mark Pendergrast

Baking Powder Wars by Linda Civitello

Butter A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova

Do you have a favorite book about food? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Leave a Comment