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Summer Featured Books and DVDs: For the Love of Food

Posted on by Amanda Alexander

Some of us eat to live, and some of us live to eat. For some of us, making and eating food can also be a rich source for cultural analysis and storytelling. This month’s featured materials show some of the many ideas and values food can represent. 

The entire collection of featured books and DVDs can be found on the first floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.  

Note: The descriptions below are collected from publishers and edited for brevity and clarity.  


Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love 

A collection of short stories about the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of teens that features work from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors, including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco. Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home. 

Soul Food Sunday 

This vividly illustrated, mouthwatering children’s story is a warm celebration of tradition and coming together at a table filled with love and delicious food. Join the young narrator as he is finally invited to help prepare a special family meal at Granny’s. 

The Kitchen without Borders: Recipes and Stories from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs 

The Kitchen Without Borders is a special kind of cookbook. In it, chefs from around the world — all part of Eat Offbeat, a catering company staffed by immigrants and refugees who have found a new home and new hope through cooking — offer up 70 authentic, surprising, nourishing recipes. More than a collection of delicious foods from around the world, this inspiring cookbook- with its intimate chef profiles and photographic portraits-offers a glimpse into the journey of displaced people and highlights the profound link between food and home. 

The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World 

A famed food writer tells the poignant, personal story of her worldwide search for a Polish town's lost culture and the daily bread that sustained it. In a bittersweet mix of humor and pathos, author Mimi Sheraton tells of a once-vibrant culture and iconic bread, reviving the exiled memories of those who escaped to the corners of the earth with only their recollections — and one very important recipe — to cherish.  

Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food 

Animal agriculture has a notoriously negative environmental impact, but many people love meat! Enter the lab-grown burger. A journalist takes readers behind the scenes of the lab-grown meat industry, interviewing entrepreneurs, scientists, lobbyists, and regulators on both sides of a polarizing issue.  


Yin shi nan nü (Eat Drink Man Woman) 

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members. In Mandarin Chinese with optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish. 

Off the Menu. Asian America 

This PBS feature documentary is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples, and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. 

Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) 

An adaptation of the international best-selling novel, this film follows the romantic fantasy of a forbidden love. When Tita and Pedro are blocked from marrying, Pedro marries Tita’s sister in order to stay close to her, and Tita expresses her passion for him through her cooking. In Spanish or dubbed English; optional English subtitles. 

Babette's Feast 

A French housekeeper with a mysterious past brings quiet revolution in the form of one exquisite meal to a circle of starkly pious villagers in late 19th-century Denmark. At the beginning of the pandemic, The Guardian called this “the ultimate lockdown movie.” In Danish, French, and Swedish with English subtitles. 

Spinning Plates 

This documentary features three extraordinary restaurants across the U.S. and the incredible people who bring them to life. The unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion, and survival behind each restaurant come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another.