The Best American Food Writing 2022

Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2022. 256p. ed. by Sohla El-Waylly. ISBN 9780063254411. pap. $17.99. LIT
The best food writing of a year will capture something about that year as well as something universal, as the experience of eating is. “The Best American Food Writing” series has existed since 2018, with a series of well-known guest editors. This year’s editor, El-Waylly, is experienced in communicating about food in social media and video in addition to being a chef and food writer. It is that multimedia experience that we have with food that makes good food writing stand apart. The selections in this volume all were written in 2021. Reflecting or reporting on the events of 2020 either directly or by allusion, they are powerful portraits of what food means in relation to racial justice or pandemic life. Few pieces indulge in uncomplicated nostalgia, but what could otherwise be too heavy is lightened with selections such as a paean to eating chips to escape everything else.
VERDICT Everyone who eats will find some entertainment here, but it’s a must-read for readers of food writing who will not want to miss any of the insights found in these selections.
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