12 Days of CanLit: Food


Have you been avoiding your calendar, in denial about the shrinking number of shopping days before Christmas? The holiday season is upon us, and whether you're looking for gifts to set under a tree or around a menorah or just for some non-denominational seasonal giving (or reading!), we've got 12 days of book recommendations coming your way. With 12 different categories, we've got books for everyone from foodies to fiction addicts to sports buffs missing their beloved hockey this winter. On the first day of CanLit we bring you three delicious new reads for the passionate cook or food enthusiast in your life.

My Canada Includes Foie Gras by Jacob Richler

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Jacob Richler continues his family's long tradition of penning explorations of Canadian identity and culture, only he comes at it through his stomach. Published in October, My Canada Includes Foie Gras is a celebration of Canadian culinary history and achievement, from fast food to haute cuisine. Richler, who is currently the food editor of Maclean's magazine, talks about his own personal culinary history, from trying to earn "favourite son" status by bringing his father, Mordecai, sandwiches from Schwartz's deli to poring over his mother's excellent cookbook collection.

 Listen to Jacob discuss My Canada Includes Foie Gras on Mainstreet PEI.

Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater by Gail Simmons

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For Toronto-born Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, food runs in the family: when she was growing up, her mother ran a cooking school out of their home, and her father made his own wine. Simmons combined her love of eating and cooking with her knack for writing and became what so many people dream of becoming: a professional eater. Talking with My Mouth Full, which was published last winter, is her memoir about the importance that food and travel have always played in her life, and includes plenty of anecdotes about the great meals and mentors she's had along the way. The book also includes some of her favourite family recipes, so maybe your giftee will feel inspired to cook and share...'tis the season, after all.

Listen to Gail discuss her memoir on Q.

Canada's Favourite Recipes by Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird

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Sometimes when you don't know what to cook, it's best to turn to an old favourite. Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird are two food writers who have been staples of the Canadian culinary scene for decades, and they combined forces to create this lovely cookbook of classic Canadian recipes, which was published just last month. With easy-to-follow recipes and elegant pictures of the most beloved recipes from across the country, like Quebec's tourtière, Newfoundland's salt cod fritters and Nova Scotia's oat cakes, this book would be great addition to the cookbook library of any culinary traditionalist.

Elizabeth Baird answered questions about Canada's Favourite Recipes on alberta@noon.