Food Writing Essay

This assignment is one of the two “final” assignments for the course, due the Saturday after class (short extensions will be readily granted).

Main objectives

This assignment encourages you to bring what we’ve learned in class in critiquing and analyzing food writing in general. It’s meant to be an extension of the presentations, but in written form and more synthetic.

Remember this is a FIANL

This assignment allows you to show off what you’ve learned in the course. An essay that does not explicitly use readings and discussions from the course will receive no more than 5 points (50%).

Questions to address

Here are some questions to bear in mind while writing. They are basically the same as the presentation questions.

  • What kind of assumptions does the author(s) make about cooking/cuisine/food?
  • Who is the intended audience? What should they know? What should they care about?
  • What does the intended audience want?
  • What kind of writing style does the author use?
  • What kind of larger themes do the essays appeal to (exotic, health, comfort, regional, national, hipster, classic, etc)?
  • How are the ideas of “national” or “ethnic” or “authentic” addressed?
  • You are being evaluated on the quality/depth of your ANALYSIS, NOT SUMMARY.


  • How does this book of food writing reflect contemporary American Food Culture? How does it NOT?