The Best Novels About Food

The Books I Picked & Why

The Flounder

By Günter Grass

The Flounder

Why this book?

An epic feast of a book, The Flounder winds the reader from the Stone Age to the present day, mixing fantasy and history with dashes of actual recipes here and there. This novel is a long meal, full of the strangest stories including talking fish and three-breasted women, but in every era and every chapter, there is a woman who is master of both man and kitchen.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Cooking with Fernet Branca

By James Hamilton-Paterson

Cooking with Fernet Branca

Why this book?

A fantastic parody of the Italian food/holiday/romance novels that saturated the market in the 90s and 00s, this novel feels as wine-soaked as its cover. Hilarious, tipsy, and over-the-top. The characters are wild, the circumstances are campy and it makes for a very fun read. Cook the recipes--if you dare.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Appetite

By Philip Kazan

Appetite

Why this book?

Nino Latino is the nephew of Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the greatest Florentine painters. For Nino, every taste brings a heightened connection to the people and places around him. He rises to culinary acclaim but it’s the forbidden hand of a woman that threatens to undo him. Appetite is a book to relish and devour.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Uncertain Hour: A Novel

By Jesse Browner

The Uncertain Hour: A Novel

Why this book?

In A.D. 66, Petronius, the author of the food-filled first novel, The Satyricon, has been implicated in an assassination plot to rid the world of Emperor Nero. He now faces a terrible choice: to end his life with honor, or to face an executioner at dawn. The Uncertain Hour is the sumptuous, beautiful tale of Petronius’s last, marvelous feast before he takes his place among the stars in the heavens.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Belly of Paris

By Emile Zola, Brian Nelson

The Belly of Paris

Why this book?

In the third novel of Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart, a man named Florent, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, escapes to Paris and becomes a fish inspector at the Les Halles market. Food and politics collide in the heart of the market, giving the reader some of the most vivid and delicious descriptions you’ll ever find on the page.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists