Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Heartbreak Cake


Fall in Love with Food Fiction
By Cindy Arora
I love reading about food. I can sit on my couch for hours looking through cookbooks and feverishly tagging each page with colorful tabs as I romantically daydream about the oven-roasted Chilean Seabass and sweet Apple Tartine I’ll finally make one day.
But as a busy career mom & writer, my fantasies about amazing meals and mile-high cakes are left to the pages of books. Cookbooks, magazines and my favorite: Foodie Fiction. I love nothing more than to curl up on the couch, after a quick stir-fry dinner, and disappear into a world of chefs; warm loaves of French bread, aromatics cuts of meat and delectable desserts all while I follow the story of characters who love food as much as I do.
While writing Heartbreak Cake one of the perks of the job was the research. Delicious research. I would often head out in search of bakeries that reminded me of Cake Pan and take in the beautiful rows of pastries. I’d watch the bakers in the back as they effortlessly decorated cookies or piped buttercream onto mini cupcakes. I absolutely indulged in more cookies and muffins than I ever should have, but it just had to be done. For the craft, you know. And for the love of chocolate cake!
These are a few of my favorite food fiction books that I often still love to reread. If you have any other titles that you’d like share, I’d be thrilled to add more to my bookshelf.
Cindy Arora’s 5 Favorite Fiction Novels About Food:
1. Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks: One of my first food-focused reads, I fell in love with the heroine in the book who struggled to find herself after leaving her cheating husband. She went to work as a bread baker and every page smelled like sourdough and rosemary. Wonderful read.
2. The Love Goddesses’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate: Written by one of my very favorite Chick Lit writers, this is such a comforting read. Still has the spirited tone Senate is known for and a spunky heroine you can root for. Will make you long for tiramisu and rigatoni.
3. Five Quarters of Orange by Joanne Harris: Best known for her novel Chocolat, Harris has an amazing talent for writing about food. This is one of my favorites from her; it is a little dark, layered with a wonderful story line and plenty of amazing food descriptions. Side note: If you enjoy reading about wine, Harris has another fantastic novel called Blackberry Wine.
4. Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer: If you haven’t read Liza Palmer, you absolutely should. Her writing is beautiful, thoughtful, witty and tugs just enough at heartstrings to keep things interesting. A must read.
5. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue: She had me at cupcake shop in San Francisco. A delightful read that at its core is about friendship. Wonderful imagery, including heading out to California’s wine country and farmers. Warning: You will eat cupcakes while reading this book.

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