Tag Archives: food book

A Memoir Introduces Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese Food book cover
Destination: Vietnam

Book: Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam (2010) by Kim Fay, Photos by Julie Fay Ashborn


“It is not a cookbook,” the author cautioned me.  When I was talking to Kim Fay, the author of Map of Lost Memories, I had slipped and called Communion, her memoir of an exploration of food in Vietnam, a cookbook.  In my defense, it does include a few recipes. But she is right, Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam is much broader in its concept than a cookbook.

Somehow, although we have some reportedly good Vietnamese restaurants in Tucson, and I love related Thai and Cambodian food, I have never become familiar with Vietnamese cuisine.  Communion proves to be a good introduction for someone like me, but also provides a more in-depth exploration for people who have already dined on Vietnamese food and want to learn more–perhaps even try cooking a few dishes. Continue reading A Memoir Introduces Vietnamese Food

Why People Cook in Time of War

Lebanese Kibbeh Nayeh
Lebanese Kibbeh Nayeh, raw ground meat

Day of Honey
Destinations: Baghdad and Beirut

Book: Day of Honey:A Memoir of Food, Love and War (Org. Feb. 2011, New in paperback 2012) by Annia Ciezadlo

“Day of honey, Day of onions.” Arab proverb.


Other books dissect the causes and results of war in the Middle East. Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War focuses on something more basic–the everyday life of people caught in a war zone and the way that food becomes a survival tool in more ways than simply nutrition.

Most civilians experience war not as the fighters and victims that parade across television screens, but as tired housewives peeling potatoes and wondering, all the while, at the stupidity of it.  Being trapped in the house with Umm Hassane [in Beirut with her Lebanese mother-in-law] forced me to experience the awful, humiliating tedium of war without the anesthetic of danger or the narcotic self-importance of risk–to go through it not as a witness, not as a journalist, but as a human being.

  Continue reading Why People Cook in Time of War

Eat, Eat, Eat. It’s Sicily.

Destination: Sicily

Book: Eat Smart in Sicily, (2008) by Joan Peterson and Marcella Croce

A GUEST POST by Jessica Voigts

People who love to learn will adore this travel guide. Eat Smart in Sicily is filled with history, culture, language, food, markets, recipes (!), photos and more. Continue reading Eat, Eat, Eat. It’s Sicily.