I want to take a moment to talk about stories with strong elements of food–both print and film. You know, the kind of stories or movies that make you drool and go “This is making me so hungry, I can’t finish this without eating something.” Hopefully, as a person who eats, this is interesting to you. Please do comment with stories and movies you’d include on your own list.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: While this wasn’t originally on my list, I enjoyed both movies, and the book. Roald Dahl’s quirky characters and invitation to imagination shouldn’t be missed.
Chocolat: Anyone who loves chocolate should give this movie or book a try. The life of a small town in France is turned upside down when a stranger comes to town and opens a chocolate shop.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (book): I loved this book as a child (and still do). It was great fun to read and imagine how great it would be to have your food just come to you like that. It was whimsical and exciting, and great to share with the kids in your life.
Julie and Julia: I’ve not read the book, so this is about the movie. The Julia Child half is by far the strongest, and there’s plenty of edible eye candy in this movie.
Marie Antoinette: Visually, this is a stunningly beautiful movie by Sophia Coppola, based on a book (which I likewise haven’t read). It is filmed in Versailles, and has Versailles-worthy food in so. many. scenes. From stunning gelatin, to display fish, to confections, this is worth a watch if you’re into food.
Miriam’s Kitchen: This non-fiction book is the memoir of a Jewish woman who is learning to be Jewish, and focuses on her family and food. It’s a fascinating look at modern Judaism in America and the journey of their food and how it was changed by the Holocaust.
My Life in France: I’m only partway into this autobiographical book by Julia Child, and it’s already something I know I’ll finish no matter how long it takes. Not only is it witty, quirky, and interesting in itself, but for the food.
The Ramen Girl: This little-known film starring Brittany Murphy is about an American girl who becomes the apprentice of a stubborn old ramen chef while living in Tokyo. This story is about the healing power of a good bowl of ramen (the Japanese equivalent to the Western world’s chicken soup).
Ratatouille: Even if you think animated movies are for kids, check out this movie about a rat who helps a clueless young man in a restaurant kitchen.
The Redwall Series: Readers of this series about anthropomorphic animals fighting will know what I’m talking about when I say the feasts are drool-inducing. Yes, you should totally check one out.
The School of Essential Ingredients: This best-selling novel book-club style book features a group of strangers taking a cooking class, and how it changes their lives. It’s engrossing and work the read.
Yakitate!! Japan: This is a Japanese manga and anime series about a boy who wants to be a professional baker and create a national bread for Japan. The series combines baking science with fantastical “taste reactions” for a very fun and pleasing story.