I’m about to review Jim Gaffigan’s new book Food: A Love Story, but first I wanted to let you know that I am eating a donut. I think the author would want it that way.
This summer, I reviewed Gaffigan’s previous book, Dad Is Fat. It chronicled his life with his wife and five kids in a two-bedroom New York City apartment. If there’s anything Gaffigan likes to talk about in his stand-up more than his family, it’s food (if his next book is on his paleness, he will have a trilogy on his hands).
Gaffigan opens this book by pointing out that he is an “eatie,” not a “foodie.” He loves to eat, but he isn’t too particular about what he eats. When visiting a new place, he will go out of his way to eat what that place is known for, but he won’t travel too far out of his way to find out what the “best” version of that food is.
People who have watched Gaffigan’s stand-up will recognize some of the jokes in this book, but there is enough new material to make it fresh. I particularly enjoyed the several chapters he devotes to regional food in the United States. It made me think of my good friend Ryan, especially the section where Gaffigan talks about Mrs. Wilkes’ in Savannah (which I visited with Ryan and another friend, Doug, one spring break 14 years ago). Ryan is the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic person I know regarding regional foods. Ryan and I once traveled through North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, and had barbecue at least four times in three days. This wasn’t a “barbecue tour,” mind you. We were just eating regional food as much as possible while we were there.
Food enthusiasts and Gaffigan enthusiasts everywhere will devour this book (pun emphatically intended).
Note: Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book. I was not asked to give a positive review.