The principal pleasures in the lives of most come from three things: food, sex and sleep (pick your own order). But the pleasure that food brings doesn’t always come directly from hand to mouth – sometimes, the majority of the delight comes from anticipation and imagination. That feeling you get when you read a delicious menu ahead of a planned night out, or when you walk into a room fragrant with things you’ll imminently indulge in.
These books do just that: conjure food to life. This list covers the full range, from books in which food is the main protagonist, through to classic novels so salaciously rife with ripe tomatoes and fresh crusty bread that despite the plot, the food is what sticks. Enjoy. Indulge. Perhaps have a cupcake standing by.