Food Lust-Writing About Food

This post is one I wrote almost a year and a half ago but I’m in summer reruns today trying to finish a big editing project. The meal is brunch on my patio, made by my husband on a lovely sunny summer Sunday. How’s that for alliteration? Enjoy!


“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite.”
A. J. Liebling

This week in my poetry critique group we are writing poems about food lust. That undeniable connection that has people connecting to others over the love of a certain food. I realize there are people that just eat, like I drink water, just because if you didn’t you would die. Then there are my friends and family…we can talk for hours about the way a certain place in Boston makes garlic pizza, or the whole belly clam chowder at that place on the coast, or the mango custard at our favorite Indian restaurant. That last one inspired my poem this week. Blind Date with Mango Custard. I’m submitting it several places this weekend. Not only do I like to read cookbooks before I go to bed but I also like to read fiction that has a food element. And if writers do it well it’s pretty great.

One of the first ones to do this was Diane Mott Davidson, her latest book Sweet Revenge (Goldy Culinary Mystery, Book 14) The reason her books work so well, she worked and trained with a caterer and she makes it clear to her readers she knows her food stuff.Now there are hundreds of other authors who write this way but not all necessarily very well. As a chef, I want my food themed fiction book to be realistic but not lose readers over the technical stuff…a delicate balance.
Today pick one food and write about it. It could be a natural food, a persimmon or a slice of aged Cheddar or your favorite junk food. Maybe a family favorite recipe. Could you convey to your reader that you are above all passionate about this food? Some food publications to explore.

Alimentum
Gastronomica
Saveur
Now get back to work!

Lovingly and now hungry,
The Writing Nag

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