10 Perfect Food and Book Pairings

You know an author is good when their food descriptions make you hungry. Details about a juicy piece of steak, mouthwatering fresh fruits, and ice cold drinks can really make you want to run to the fridge and grab a bite to eat. So why not? We picked 10 books and paired them with foods to satisfy your cravings while reading!

1) White Teeth by Zadie Smith with Biryani

Image courtesy of SmartCooky

A major theme in Smith’s novel is the struggle with keeping tradition when you’re removed from your roots. This is seen within the Iqbal family, whose twin sons travel very different life paths. Magid is sent back to India to learn his family’s background while Millat stays in London to cause trouble. Many of the family’s conversations happen over traditional meals served at their family’s restaurant like Biryani, a staple spiced rice dish that will warm you from the inside out.

2) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and Dehydrated Ice Cream

Image courtesy of

I know, but let’s keep an open mind! In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Oskar loves the stuff; it’s dessert for astronauts after all. If you really don’t want to give it a try, I’m sure Oskar wouldn’t mind if you ate actual ice cream while enjoying Foer’s bestselling novel.  

3) The Road by Cormac McCarthy with A Can of Beans

Image courtesy of

Mmm. Appetizing. In McCarthy’s gripping novel it’s all about survival for a father and son who traverse through the wasteland that is now America. When they happen upon a fully stocked bunker, you can’t help but cheer as they share in the canned food supply that’s been left behind.  

4) The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff and Frikadeller

 Image courtesy of

We could have gone with the obvious choice in pastry, but instead why not broaden your tastes with authentic Danish cuisine? Frikadeller are essentially the Danish answer to meatballs, traditionally made out of a mix of pork, veal, lamb, and mutton. Sounds absolutely delightful, just like Ebershoff’s own novel.

5) It by Stephen King with Popcorn

Image courtesy of

Even though Pennywise isn’t your average clown, this thrilling novel by King may stir the need to snack on some circus goodies. Make your own tent out of blankets, throw some popcorn in the microwave, and curl up while immersing yourself in a truly frightening novel.   

6) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Currant Buns

Image courtesy of Warner Brothers

Who didn’t want their own secret garden in the English countryside after reading Burnett’s novel? Though little Mary starts off as a typical spoiled child, she improves by visiting the garden and befriending the gardener. While reading this quaint, magical book, transport yourself to England by munching on some currant buns.  

7) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien with Mince Pie

Image courtesy of

If hobbits love one thing, it’s eating. Tolkien’s descriptions of the multiple meals and feasts hobbits have daily are enough to get us drooling. You’ll want to be prepared for the long journey ahead, which means that you have to eat something substantial if you want to keep up with Gandalf and the crew. Mince pie is just hearty enough to bring along for the adventure.

8) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and Pancakes

Image courtesy of

Gaiman’s dreamy book about a young boy whisked into a fantastical world may not seem like it would lend itself to food. But, in this novel is a grand breakfast scene where the Hempstock women treat our hero to some delicious home cooked food including pancakes. Because pancakes are so versatile, you can make any combination that suits you. But, if you’re up for it, Gaiman has released the recipe for the delectable sounding lemon pancakes as described in the novel. 

9) This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz with La Bandera

 Image courtesy of

Díaz’ collection of stories mostly center around Yunior, a young man who left the Dominican Republic to live in New Jersey with his family. As Yunior navigates the divide between living in the United States while paying respects to where he came from, you can try a traditional Dominican meal called la bandera, or “the flag.” Made of kidney beans, rice, and stewed chicken, it is meant to represent the Dominican flag. Looking for a side? Try tostones, twice fried plantains.


10) Modern Lovers by Emma Straub and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 Image courtesy of

Some books just call for dessert. Straub’s novel about young romance references the tropes of the romantic greats Romeo and Juliet, Tristian and Isolde, and more while telling it’s own love story for the present day. Few desserts are more romantic than strawberries dipped in chocolate, so take the time to indulge in both the novel and the fruit. 


Hungry yet? Let us know what food and book pairings you think would be great together!


Featured image courtesy of