I’m a big reader. I love when I find a book that I can lose myself in. I find that the books that I love the most are the ones that often involve food in some way. Not that the plots have to be about food, but when the characters describe mouth-watering meals or talk about making recipes that have some significance in their lives, it somehow makes me more invested in the story (because it feels real to me). So, needless to say, I LOVE when fiction books include recipes for the dishes that are mentioned in the story, or even better, have spin-off cookbooks! I KNOW that in most cases, this is a marketing ploy to get suckers like me to buy more books. But I fall for it every time. Here are some of my favorite spin-off cookbooks and books that have recipes within the context of the story.
If you’re a fan of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, you’ll know that Kay Scarpetta is the Virginia State Medical Examiner AND an avid Italian cook. Many of the recipes in Food to Die For: Secrets from Kay Scarpetta’s Kitchen are really legit in terms of being authentically Italian. It’s also worth mentioning that Cornwell published another little vignette/cookbook out called “Kay’s Winter Table”, but it’s more focused on holiday food and has a story to accompany it.
Good Enough to Eat is actually a book that Dani reviewed a while back, and which I loved as well. As Dani so eloquently put it, it’s a book about “weight-loss, health food, love, friendship and good, delicious, hearty meals.” The recipes for many of the dishes featured in the chapters are included, and some are----gasp---healthy!
Like Water for Chocolate. If you haven’t read this book, please set aside a weekend soon to devote to reading it. It takes place in turn of the century Mexico, so you can only imagine the amazing traditional recipes in this novel/fairy tale about forbidden love, complicated family relationships, and how food fits in to all of those elements of the story.
So I can’t personally vouch for this one, but I thought it was hilarious and worth mentioning. The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. If Lamb Stew with Plums sounds good to you, this cookbook is for you.
And Tara C. just wrote a post about the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, which I plan to buy in the near future. Head on over to her post and enter to win a free copy!
If you know any other fiction books with recipes or awesome cookbook spin-offs, please share!
(Photos from Amazon and Barnes&Noble)