Review: Delicious!


Anyone hungry for milkweed pods?

I love a good food book, and Reichl’s novel Delicious! delivers on that score. Reichl is mostly known for being a food critic, so that shouldn’t be surprising. Her book opens with the most evocative descriptions of spices, from nutmeg to cardamom, as the protagonist develops her signature recipe for gingerbread. Later, the protagonist walks the streets of NYC, tasting her way from one shop to the next, from the chocolatier to the butcher to the cheese monger. I was drooling! These sensual descriptions are the strength of the book.

In Delicious! Reichl heaps mystery upon mystery about a young woman who goes to work for a food magazine (but who claims not to cook despite her amazing palate) and a secret cache of letters from World War II written to American Food forefather James Beard (this is where those milkweed pods come in). While the book is interesting, it becomes a bit overbaked for my liking. The middle of the book lagged, and I found myself wanting to speed through some pages of letters.

Overall, Reichl’s book is one to read if you like a good food book–but be prepared to come away hungry! Anyone else out there enjoy food books? I’m far from a professional chef, but I love to read about food people. Any books/authors you’d recommend?