We are inspired by food blogs, in part because they are examples of remarkable, authentic content. Our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers handed down their favorite recipes over the years, often scribbled on a card or a piece of paper. Stories about the origin of the recipe were often told as well, and these collections were prized and shared again and again over the years. Contemporary food writers adapted quickly to blogging and tell their stories to much larger audiences. They are the new creators and historians of recipes and food memoir and it's helpful to have a guide to the very best.
We asked one of our favorite food writers, Pat Fusco of the Pacific Sun newsweekly in the San Francisco Bay Area, to give us a selection of her ‘must read’ food blogs are and tell us why they are at the top of her list. Pat’s feature stories are well known and loved by her readers. She often incorporates moving family tales of her childhood in the South and her young married life in NY with her Italian in-laws. These are her choices when you are looking for more than a recipe. (To read more of Pat Fusco food writing, visit: www.pacificsun.com.)
www.teaandcookiesblog.com, Tara Weaver
“Tea” (I know her by that name from another time in our world) is a gifted writer, a published author whose passion for food shines through in her journal-type entries of life in – now – the Northwest. She is also a photographer whose sensitive images catch the mood of landscape and food, people and places. Her recipes are invariably simple, always seasonal . She writes openly and honestly about her personal experiences as a single woman, and is not afraid to appear so very human in her work.
www.eatthelove.com, Irvin Lin
I knew Irvin before he began his blog and have loved following his smashing success in the San Francisco food-writing scene – and he has gained national recognition as well, with awards for his blog. He is Asian, proudly gay, and irreverent. His passion for creating new desserts is boundless, and it’s infectious. He has been using a lot of gluten-free ingredients lately, proving that sophisticated sweets can be “righteous”, but not everything is geared to that niche and his recipes are seductive. I so appreciate the way Irvin takes the reader along as he tweaks each cooking experience. The photos on his blog are by his partner A.J. Bates, a very good photographer who is also a scientist and helps Irvin explain a lot of “whys” (especially about baking).
www.101cookbooks.com, Heidi Swanson
Heidi is a respected cookbook author and proponent of natural foods cuisine. Her blog brings us a sense of joy-in-freshness, simple-is-best philosophy and it’s exciting to read, making me feel in touch with her curiosity about ingredients and her discoveries in world foods as well as those of our own California sources. She is unfailingly careful in her recipe writing; there’s never any questioning her authority.
Okay, for sheer escape into other realms I (daily) read two blogs from Italy:
The woman who writes this fascinating journal of life in northern Italy is a native of Kauai, my favorite Hawaiian island, and she writes from both locations. She has been documenting sagras (food festivals) wherever she finds them, often traveling across the country to catch a celebration of a specific ingredient or a saint’s day festival and parade. She cooks, too, and likes to surprise Italians with American and/or Hawaiian specialties and she loves learning from her Italian husband’s family or reproducing some of the almost-disappearing dishes served at sagras. She has a great sense of humor and throws into the mix videos (popular music Italian television commercials, movie scenes) and photos, from landscapes to crazy signage to close-ups of food in shop windows.
www.luculliandelights.com, Ilva Beretta
I challenge anyone to read Ilva’s blog and not be drawn into her very special world. A Swedish woman married to an Italian, she lives in Tuscany (Pistoia) and is a professional studio photographer (food, lifestyle) as well as a woman who finds magic in the kitchen of her stone house, making up recipes as she responds to weather, mood, the harvest. I confess that I’ve been addicted to her photographs and her comfortable approach to cooking/eating since I first came across her blog several years ago. I feel the day is incomplete unless I see what she has posted.