One of my all time favourites has to be Like Water for Chocolate. Interestingly it is one of the best book to movie adaptations I've seen as well. This book is so beautifully written with so much passion and so vivid. The book was written by a first time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel.
Part of what appealed to me about the book apart from the language was the way things were described. I actually love reading books from Mexico and from South America because the turn of phrase is so different from the dry Australian way of describing things.
Here's an example:
“She felt so lost and lonely. One last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn't feel any worse than she did."
I also love the way the emotions are conveyed through cooking. It adds a whole different layer to the saying we use about the food in our house "you can taste the love."
Another classic book I love that has food themes is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. I know this one was also another excellent movie but you really should read the book. Fannie has a real gift of creating a small town and making it real, even though the characters seem to be so quirky as to be unreal they're very believable. I've read all her books including her most recent one just last week, and I love her writing.
I love lots of things about this book which is essentially a story about love and friendship with some mystery thrown in. Mostly I love the theme that you can choose your own family and create your own if the one you have is lacking.
Here is a recipe for fried green tomatoes should the urge hit you.
Have you got a favourite food themed book that you often think about time and again?