What follows is a highly subjective, highly selective listing of books and blogs and websites about food that I think are worth checking out if you’re not already familiar with them. Some are new to me, some have influenced my thinking about and eating of food for a decade or more. Let me know if there are others you think I should read. I imagine I’ll want to edit this list frequently, so do come back every now and then.

Midwestern food

Amy Thielen’s book, The New Midwestern Table, and her blog, Sourtooth, are as good an introduction to the foodways of the Upper Midwest as you could hope for.

Western food

Eugenia Bone’s book At Mesa’s Edge is half memoir (New Yorker moves to a ranch in Colorado) and half recipes (preserved hot peppers, stuffed squash blossoms).

Southern food

Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South is full of very do-able dishes, with bright acidic flavors.

Joseph Dabney’s Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine is a love letter to Appalachia, a classic that rewards rereading. Or it did the last time I picked it up.


I can’t overstate how valuable the Women’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, twelve volumes published in the 1960s, has been to me over the years, and not just because it has the best hammantaschen recipe ever. If you see a set at a yard sale or used book store, grab it. It takes up a lot of shelf space, but if you have these books you probably won’t need The Joy of Cooking or any of the various old New York Times cookbooks, or even Betty Crocker (save BC’s snickerdoodle recipe, though!).

Italian food

Patricia Wells’s Trattoria is one that actually gets used around here.

Thai food

Leela Punyaratabandhu writes what is quite possibly the best food blog on the Internet, She Simmers, focusing on Thai home cooking, and she is working—not fast enough, in my opinion—on a book, so keep an eye out for it.

I’ve been waiting—and am still waiting—patiently for Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok to be released (it drops in a couple weeks!). If it lives up to my unreasonable expectations I’ll leave it listed here. If it doesn’t, this entry will quietly disappear.

David Thompson’s books, in particular the little paperback Classic Thai Cuisine and the enormous hardcover Thai Street Food, are glorious and inaccessible.

Canning and preserving

Each of Linda Ziedrich’s books should have been category killers (I’m lucky there was room for more in the preserving genre). Check out The Joy of Pickling especially.

For answers to questions about canning, your first stop should be the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s comprehensive, authoritative website.

Marisa McClellan regularly updates Food in Jars, a beautiful, ground-breaking blog dedicated to preserving in small batches.