Writing, baking, reading. They are my passions, the activities that help me feel more like Emilia. So you can imagine how excited I was to read an anthology of works that is, in a way, the essence of all of them.
Okay, so The Best Food Writing of 2011 edited by Holly Hughes isn’t exactly about baking and I’m not writing whilst reading it, but you get what I mean. I hope you do. Here are stories that people have crafted about their passions: food and life.
How could you not want to jump in?
I wish I could say that I did jump in, however, I can never quite do that with anthologies. My mind searches for a plot, it yearns for a connecting thread. Without a distinct mark I find it quite difficult to pay attention and remember exactly what it is that I have read. This unfortunate mental block has deeply impacted my enjoyment of short stories throughout the years. And, yes, it even marred my enjoyment of A Christmas Story.
So, why am I telling you about this now?
Because this anthology was organized in a way that helped my plot-driven mind to make a cohesive story out of separate parts. Instead of throwing the articles together without rhyme or reason, the collection was organized by theme. Sure, not every story went together, but it is a bit difficult to connect a story about the man who deep fries beer and butter to anything else. Okay, I may not exactly remember when they were discussing food deserts, but I remember that they were discussed.
Each article was engrossing and expertly chosen; I would happily return to any of them again in order to reread them and savor the writing style. Though I normally don’t find anthologies great teachers, that’s not why I turn to them, I feel that I learnt quite a bit about food writing from this collection. These stories aren’t about food, they are about our lives. The food is simply a vehicle used to describe a moment, a place or an emotion.
Indeed, that’s why this anthology sings. Yes, each passage discusses food in some way, but we aren’t reading entries from food blogs. We are reading social commentaries that promote thought, each with a different way.
So yeah, I love reading, writing and baking. Those passions might lead you to The Best Food Writing of 2011, but the passion that pervades the entire collection is life. I enjoy living life to the fullest and that’s why I loved reading The Best Food Writing of 2011.
You won’t be disappointed to add this to your collection.
Do you enjoy reading anthologies or do you prefer books with a defined plot?