Eating for Two

Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati shares a book review. For more foodie info, recipes, travel tips and more join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at
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Editor: Chris Manganaro

Eating is a social event. Some people believe that food even tastes better when eaten in good company. Whether this is true or not, eating is an experience best shared in one way or another. If you cannot express your enjoyment to others, the experience of food decreases quite a bit. Sharing a compliment with the chef or telling your companion to have a bite add just the right flavor to any meal. If you made it yourself then seeing others enjoy it is what ends up mattering to you all the more than your own enjoyment. Food helps us to understand one another.

            In Alice, Let’s Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater by Calvin Trillin, we learn about Alice and Calvin as a couple through their experiences with food. Calvin is a food enthusiast, a foodie, a gourmand. Whatever you want to call him, his love of food is more than obvious and sometimes leans towards ridiculous. Alice is also a lover of food, but not exactly in the same vein as Calvin. Throughout the book one can see the differences between the two yet food still brings them together quite often.

            The book is simply set up in chapters which often revolve around one topic. Each chapter’s topic is in some way related to food, of course. Calvin Trillin would not have it any other way. What makes this interesting is that the way each chapter addresses food is not always direct. Each exploit is rather silly and rarely serious. This makes the book move by at a leisurely pace. It is an easy read that is likely to make you chuckle along with your rumbling stomach. Due to Calvin’s eccentricities, you may just be laughing at times because his love of food likely outdoes yours. He will eat most anything.

            The only characters we really learn about are Calvin, Alice, and their two girls. In this way, it is an intimate look at their relationship and family dynamic. While the book does not have a specific plot or goal, it still feels like it is hitting its mark by the end. If the reader does not feel satisfied, there are many other books written by Calvin Trillin in which to delve into. There’s even more about Alice.

            Calvin’s love of food is infectious. While we may not always agree with him, it is hard not to smile and read on. While Calvin’s book alone might be too much for some people, this is also Alice’s book. This makes it a bit more grounded. Alice allows for the reader to feel more at home with what is going on in each story. Just as she is Calvin’s constant companion, she is the readers as well. We learn to hold back from Alice and to fly free from Calvin. They demonstrate quite a bit about life and relationships.

            This book is just as much about food as it is about life. It is simple and fun enough to read with little consequence while still holding as much depth as it does. It is a worthwhile read for food lover and simply for food eaters.

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Published in: Cooking


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