Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Food: A Love Story

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
10/21/14; 352 pages
Crown Archetype

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan is a very highly recommended hilarious book about, well, loving food and a culinary tour, of sorts, across the USA.

As Gaffigan points out: “What are my qualifications to write this book? None really. So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book." Cheeseburgers and bacon are high on the list, for obvious reasons, but that is a starting point for what Gaffigan loves. He makes it quite clear that he loves to eat, eats basically all the time, thinks about food constantly, and is ready to share his informed opinion about what he likes to eat across the USA. The Geography of American Food according to Gaffigan is: Seabugland; Eating BBQland; Super Bowl Sunday Foodland; Mexican Foodland; Wineland; Coffeeland; Food Anxietyland.

He also makes it clear in a humorous way what he doesn't enjoy. "Ten years ago nobody ate kale. Then someone (probably a kale farmer or Satan) discovered that kale had some health benefits, and off kale went. Now we are in the middle of a full-fledged kale trend or, as I call it, a kale epidemic." Kale is just one of the foods that are a no-go for him and he is entertaining while he covers what he doesn't like as much as what he likes.

This is my first Gaffigan book and I quite enjoyed the clean comedy, the inclusion of his wife and children in the stories, and that it is an entertaining lighthearted book about the foods he loves. Admittedly, I approached reading  it with a bit of trepidation after recent not funny political comments from him, but this was written years before that and was great escapism during a trying time. I found myself laughing or chuckling throughout the whole book. I'm going to leave with two quotes: "There are some people who don’t like ketchup. I think they are called losers." and something that needs to be made into one of those inspirational wall plaques, "I mostly eat ice cream at night in sweatpants, the uniform of ice cream eating."

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