By Jennifer McClelland-Smith
We love it when an author pulls you in with sumptuous descriptions like the smell of pie that just came out of the oven or that first taste of iced tea on a hot day. From pies with protagonists to dinners with country doctors, here are just some of our favorites reads that left us hungry for more!
Midnight at the Blackbird Café by Heather Webber
Now here’s a sweet Southern story that will make your mouth water. Anna Kate gets more than she bargained for when she returns to the small-town Alabama bakery that belonged to her late Granny Zee. The descriptions of Granny Zee’s pies alone will keep you coming back for more. Family suppers marked by Southern classics like baked ham, zucchini & cheddar biscuits, and creamy mashed potatoes all washed down with a glass of cool blackberry tea set the scene for a magical story about the power of family.
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
For a food delight of the European variety, dip in to Chocolat, the basis for the movie starring Juliette Binoche. It’s another book that combines magical realism with serious food porn. Take a trip to the South of France where newcomer Vianne has arrived to tempt the town with her incredible chocolate creations. Passion abounds in this battle between Lenten vows and delectable indulgences.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Things get a little quirky in Robin Sloan’s delightfully fresh Sourdough. When software engineer Lois Clary’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant is shut down, and the two brothers who run it are deported due to visa issues, they leave Lois a surprising gift: their sourdough starter, with strict instructions to keep it alive and, most importantly, bake with it. Lois is no baker, but soon she’s living and breathing bread: eating her own homemade loaves, and providing extras to her colleagues at work. When the company chef urges her to take her bread to the farmer’s market, a whole new world opens up. The outrageously tempting descriptions of bread in this book will have you tying on an apron of your own to follow in Lois’ floury footsteps.
An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
Food takes a central role in every book in Patrick Taylor’s joyful Irish Country series, so much so that it inspired its own cookbook! Although you can start reading any one of the thirteen titles in the series, why not begin right at the beginning? Throughout the delightful stories of Dr. Barry Laverty and the colorful characters of Ballybucklebo, you’ll find descriptions of thick lamb stew, steak and kidney pie, and warm Irish soda bread, all accompanied by a pint of Guinness. And at the end of every book, you’ll find recipes from Mrs. Kinky Kincaid, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly’s very own housekeeper and one of the more unforgettable personalities in this charming series.