The Gastronomica Reader


Described in the 2008 Saveur 100 as “At the top of our bedside reading pile since its inception in 2001,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture was known under Darra Goldstein’s editorship for its exceptional writing on food. The Gastronomica Reader offers a sumptuous sampling from the journal’s pages— including essays, poetry, interviews, memoirs, and an outstanding selection of the artwork that made Gastronomica so distinctive. In words and images, it takes us around the globe, through time, and into a dazzling array of cultures, investigating topics from early hominid cooking to Third Reich caterers to the Shiite clergy under Ayatollah Khomeini who deemed Iranian caviar fit for consumption under Islamic law. Informed throughout by a keen sense of the pleasures of eating, tasting, and sharing food, The Gastronomica Reader inspires readers to think seriously, widely, and deeply about what goes onto their plates.

Gastronomica was named Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 2012, and Best Food Magazine in the World at the 2010 Gourmand Awards.

Among other accolades, the journal has also won Utne Reader‘s Independent Press Award for Social/Cultural Coverage.

Praise for The Gastronomica Reader

“The gloriously illustrated Gastronomica Reader is a every bit as good as it looks.”—Times Literary Supplement (TlS)

“Delights in manners ranging from the poetic to the political.”—Bookforum

“To say that the subject matter in this book is varied would be an understatement, but the one thing that does not waver, is this publication’s commitment to using erudite writers who consistently present rich, compelling work. As a result, it is easy to get quickly drawn in and once you do, it is difficult to put this book down.”—San Francisco Book Review

“This volume should absorb anyone with an appetite for unconventional food writing.” Starred Review—Publishers Weekly

“A volume to browse and absorb.”—New York Times

“Rarefied but unpretentious, each issue is an artfully curated collection of essays, poems, art, and journalistic reportage. . . . Gastronomica’s fare never fails to nourish us.” —Saveur magazine

“I am so impressed with this journal. It indicates an accuracy and diversity of information and style that will inspire and encourage people to pay attention to what they are eating.”—Alice Waters

“Food, even more than sex, is the basis for human relationships, and if Brillat-Savarin’s ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are’ is right, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture will enhance your life and improve your relationships with your family and your friends.”—Jacques Pépin

“Gastronomica deserves the food world’s attention.” —Paul Levy

“A food journal of high standards that takes on substantive food issues.”—Patricia Unterman

“Interacting with so many disciplines, Gastronomica will assure a fine intellectual menu and reinvigorate the worlds of food and culture with ever higher standards of scholarship.”—Anne Willan

“[One of] my top food favorites from 2008. . . . A delightful study of all things food, even those that touch the world of food in a peripheral way.”—The Zest, food blog