Nonfiction Books About Food and Cooking

Reading and cooking are two of my favorite things. Today we are combing them into a list full of nonfiction books about food. 

Nonfiction Books about Food

Do you love both reading and cooking?

Today I am combining the two by sharing a list of nonfiction books about food and cooking. Did you know I have been blogging about food since 2008. It makes me feel kind of old when I tell people how long I have been writing online about food.

On my food site, Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, I share tips, recipes, and ideas that make life in the kitchen easier. I also share gluten free and allergy friendly recipes. 

I have fun writing about food, but as you might have guessed I also love to talk about books and reading. What I really love is when I can combine my love of cooking with reading.

How can you combine cooking and reading? Read books about food and where food comes from! 

Over the last few years I have read quite a few books about food and cooking. Not cookbooks, although I have been known to read cookbooks like books, but I am talking more about memoirs and books about how food makes it from farm to table.

Because I know I am not the only one that loves to talk about books and food, I put together a list of some of my favorite nonfiction books about food for you. 

If you love food and cooking I think you will be adding a book or two to your to read pile. And if you know someone that loves cooking and reading any of these books nonfiction books about food would make a great gift. 

Save Me the Plums

Save Me the Plums

I love it when my love of food and reading come together. Save Me the Plums is a memoir all about food and the food publishing world. Ruth Reichl does a great job of sharing her love of food and cooking.

If you remember Gourmet magazine, especially Gourmet magazine during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, this is a great book. 

Now I need to read her book Garlic and Sapphires

The Mushroom Hunters

Mushroom Hunters

Have you ever wondered how mushrooms are grown and picked? 

I grew up in a small logging town, in the middle of nowhere, near the NW coast range of Oregon. The area I grew up in and that my family still live in are the areas mentioned in The Mushroom Hunters by Langdon Cook.

In fact I grew up picking mushrooms back in the 1980’s when mushroom picking was just becoming popular. We walked the forests and logging roads picking mushrooms. We sold them to a mushroom buyer that lived a mile or so down the road. He was a friend of my parents, and I went to school with his son. It was small town rural living.

Mushroom picking has changed drastically since my family picked and sold them back in the 1980’s. In fact, I had no idea how much it has changed until I read this book. If you love to learn about how food grows and where it comes from this is a good read. 

Whiskey In a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Whiskey In a Teacup 

If you life in the south or know someone that does Whiskey In a Teacup is a great read. This was an impulse buy at Costco. I did not intend to buy it, but when I started looking through it, I knew it had to go in my shopping cart.

This book is about 1/4 cookbook 3/4 book. It contains some of Reese’s favorite southern recipes, but it is mainly a book about life in the South and in Tennessee. And if you know anything about life in the south you know that it involves a lot of cooking and food! 

Locally Laid

Locally Laid How We Built A Plucky Industry Changing Egg Farm From Scratch by Lucie B. Amundsen

This was a fun read. Locally Laid shares the story of a modern day egg farmers. The author and her husband set out to farm a certain way, and they share the hard reality that hit them along the way.

Farming is not the idealistic life many make it out to be. What I loved about this book though, is that the author mixes in humor with reality. If you have ever lived in the country or longed to live in the country, this is a good read. 

My Life In France

My Life in France by Julia Child

If you love food and cooking My Life In Paris by Julia Child is a must read. Yes, a must read. I don’t say that about many books, but Julia Child changed cooking in America.

I read this book quite a few years ago and loved it. Julia Child is not quite as well known to the younger generation today, but she is still one of the most well known cooks in American. She changed cooking in America. She also changed cooking on TV and the way cookbooks were designed and published. American cooking and food TV would not be what it is today without Julia Child.

Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine

I read Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist several years ago when it was a popular book recommended by bloggers. This book reminds us that food brings us together. Friendships are formed and memories are made over food. This book is not really about cooking, but about how food is the common ground that so often brings us together. 

Hershey by Michael D'Antonio

Hershey Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This book is a fun and fascinating read about how Milton S. Hershey changed not only chocolate, but how Americans viewed chocolate. He changed chocolate in America.

He was also an incredible business minded person. This book is part chocolate history, part biography, and part business book. I had no idea what the history of Hershey’s chocolate was until I read this book. It was an interesting look into chocolate in America. 

Give a Girl a Knife

Give a Girl a Knife

I read Give a Girl a Knife for my nonfiction books for every state challenge, but this book is an interesting book about the life of a chef and the journey she takes with food. This book shares the story of the author growing up in Minnesota, living off the grid in rural Minnesota, traveling to New York to become a chef, and returning home to Minnesota again

Turquoise Table

The Turquoise Table

The book The Turquoise Table is a little different than the others on this list. This book isn’t so much about cooking and food as it is about opening our tables and homes through hospitality.

Opening up our homes and tables to others can look very different depending on your circumstances, but opening our homes and tables can change lives. Often times those lives can be changed by sharing meals and food with others. 

Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini

Girl Hunter

I really enjoyed the book Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini. My dad hunted when I was a kid. Many of our friends hunted and still do. My husband and all three of my kids hunt.

Hunting is not new to me, and I am so glad that this book is helping to change the stereotype that hunting often has.

This book is not a how to hunt book though. Girl Hunter is more than just stories about hunting. It instead helps you realize the connection that hunting and preparing food has with everyday life.

I will say that the way this book covers hunting is as more of a sport. I know a lot of people that hunt because it gives them food for their family. It isn’t a sport, it is a way to survive. I really enjoyed this book, but I wish it had covered more about that side of hunting. 

Just Open the Door

Just Open the Door

Just Open the Door is another book that is not so much about cooking, but about how we can use food to impact others. Hospitality and food go hand in hand.

I have known Jen of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam since the early days of blogging. She is one of the first online bloggers that I got to know in real life. When I heard she was writing a book I couldn’t wait to see the finished product because I knew the book would share her heart and love of hospitality.

If you have a desire to open your home to others this is a great read. 

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

I love The Kitchen Counter Cooking School. If you love cooking or want to learn to love cooking, I highly recommend this book. This book is for those that love to cook and also for those that want to learn how to cook.

It is the story of learning to cook, but also a story about food in general. Cooking is not hard, but it can often be intimidating. This book shares the journey of learning to cook and learning about food. Real food that doesn’t come from a box or can.

A quick note on this one though. There is one chapter in the book that I didn’t love and felt was not at all necessary to the book. When you read the book you will know what I mean. I told my girls that when they read this book they need to just skip that chapter. Besides that though I loved this book. 

A Garlic Testament

A Garlic Testament by Stanley Crawford

As with other books on this list A Garlic Testament shares about farming and how one specific food makes it from the field to the table. 

A Garlic Testament by Stanley Crawford is all about farming garlic in New Mexico. It covers all four seasons of farm life in New Mexico. I picked up this book for my New Mexico Book for my nonfiction books for every state challenge.  It was a great way to learn about life on a New Mexico farm. What I didn’t realize when I started this book, was how much I would learn about garlic. I had no idea that growing garlic involved so much.

This book wasn’t a riveting can’t put it down book, but it was an interesting educational read. 

Do you have a favorite book about food? We love to find new books so leave a comment letting us know what your favorite book about food is. 

2 thoughts on “Nonfiction Books About Food and Cooking”

  1. Thank you for the wonderful book recommendations. I love books about food! My two favorite things together. I am looking forward to reading each of these. I have already put most of them on hold at the library and will start reading them in a few days.


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