Recommendations for Gourmet Audiobooks
Here are recommendations for audiobooks that bring together two of my favourite subjects – books, and food. Actually, most of these bring together three of loves: books, food, and travel.
These audiobook narrators can heighten your experience of these classic food fiction titles.
While some of these titles are a little older than others, I consider them to be Classics that hold their flavour for years.
If you have any audiobooks titles that you want to recommend to me, please send me a message.
Italo Calvino’s Under the Jaguar Sun is a short, (2.5 hours long) and sensual, exploration of three senses – hearing, smell, and taste. (Calvino only wrote about three of the senses before the book’s posthumous publication). Jefferson Mays’ keen narration in the title story brings out a blend of eagerness and curiosity, perfect for this exploration of Meixcan food and culture, using food as a metaphor for our relationships to society, politics, religion, and sex.
Hop aboard a pirate ship with Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. James Langton’s performance mixes mirth and a little cheeky madness in this entertaining story. Set in 1819, the swashbuckling tale is about a chef kidnapped by Mad Hannah Mabbot – a ruthless pirate with a taste for good food.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Laura Esquival’s delicious novel is set in early 20th century Mexico and tells the story of the De La Garza family – most specifically, Tita, the youngest daughter. Yareli Arizmendi’s Spanish pronunciations make for evocative food descriptions. Her pace and tone bring out the heat in volatile family discussions as well as the sensuality of the love story. The movie version of this novel is also worth sampling.
You can smell the spices of an Indian kitchen in the French Alpine village with Neil Shah’s warm and unhurried performance in The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais. Shah’s authentic pronunciation of Indian food conjures images of the dishes saturated with sumptuous flavors. in this stirring story about a young Indian man’s rise to become a renowned chef – with the opposition, and eventual support, of a famous female chef whose restaurant was a hundred feet from where his family set up their restaurant.
Take your sweet tooth to Africa with Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. Narrator Adenrele Ojo’s velvety voice conveys heartache and happiness in this enticing story about Angel Tangaraza – a baker in Rwanda. Ojo’s performance is at once lyrical and sensual, conveying atmosphere and rhythm in the African names of places and people.
Sweet Bean Paste, written by Durian Sukegawa, is a beautiful and tender story. Sentaro is a dorayaki (pancake with bean paste) pancake maker with a secret or two. He learns some important life lessons (and how to improve his pancakes) from an elderly woman named Tokue. Cindy Kay does an excellent job portraying Sentaro’s gruff nature, and Tokue’s quiet insistence. This is a lovely movie that I think is as good as the book and audiobook, if not better.
Natalie Naudus gives an animated performance in Sarah Kuhn’s I Love You So Mochi, and makes this YA jaunt to Japan fresh and fun. Naudus’ youthful voice brings out the voice of Kimi Nakamura, a high schooler who, after a bout of self doubt, decides to go to Japan to rediscover herself, and reconnect with her estranged grandparents.