I’m reading MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me right now and it is rocking my world. I thought Ruth Reichl was brilliant while reading Garlic and Sapphires (and she still is); however, Fisher is leaving Reichl in the dust in the Great Food Writing Write-Off. I never thought food writing could be like this, where food and life and everything in between are so intricately woven together as to be indistinguishable from one another. Which is exactly how life is and Fisher has somehow captured that. There is nothing episodic about her writing, and she writes so beautifully about the people she encounters that, after they've left the narrative, you want to follow each of them to find out more about their story.
Because the prose is so tightly woven together, so fluid and connected, it's difficult to find a passage brief enough to include here. But I must give you some little delight from the book so here is a brief description of a meal that Fisher ate as a child with her sister and her father:
For heaven’s sake, if you love food writing, read this book. Read it now.
…it was one of the best meals we ever ate.
Perhaps that is because it was the first conscious one, for me at least; but the fact that we remember it with such queer clarity must mean that it had other reasons for being important. I suppose that happens at least once to every human. I hope so.
Now the hills are cut through with superhighways, and I can’t say whether we sat that night in Mint Canyon or Bouquet, and the three of us are in some ways even more than twenty-five years older than we were then. And still the warm round peach pie and the cool yellow cream we ate together that August night live in our hearts’ palates, succulent, secret, delicious.
Eat, drink, and read food porn.
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