BookPairing: Meal and Book Pairings Might be a New Foodie Craze

If you're currently living in a large American city — and we're not just talking Brooklyn now — chances are that you've found it hard of late to escape the omnipresent influence of "foodie" culture. Not that we're complaining, mind, and it now seems our current obsession with everything grub related — molecular gastronomy, farm-to-table, locally sourced produce, etc. — has stretched beyond the table, and plopped itself happily at our reading desks.

For many, a book in one hand often means a beverage of some sort in the other, be it tea, cocoa, or booze of some sort depending on the hour (or not, no judgement). Some claim that a glass of the strong stuff can actually enhance one’s reading experience, helping the reader relax from the stresses of the day and dive deeper into the narrative without distraction (no wonder so many notable writers were such lushes!) In some of the great works of literature, food serves as a prime symbol for nostalgia, temptation, or even decay.

It seems only logical, recommended, even that we think about what we're snacking on as we plow through our favorite pages.

Enter Nikki Steele, whose blog, BookPairing tackles the subject of gastronomy and good reads head on. Beyond pairing book genres with wines — magical realism and Malbec, literary fiction and Bordeaux — Steele suggests certain meals or eats to enjoy with certain books, providing recipes for each. To get into the Tuscan feel, for example, while reading Dan Brown's Inferno, she recommends indulging on a little cacio e pepe. Or how about a little pork guisada to go with Junot Diaz' This is How you Lose Her.

So go ahead, settle in and make a dinner date with your latest read. Just try not to get the pages too sticky.

Image: Joshua Resnick/Fotolia