Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Title: Food:  A Love Story
Author: Jim Gaffigan
Read by: Jim Gaffigan
Publisher: Random House Audio
Length: Approximately 7 hours and 17 minutes
Source: Overdrive Audio through the Kewaunee Public Library – Thank-you!

“What are my qualifications for writing this book?  None Really.  So why should you read it?  Here’s why:  I’m a little fat.  If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating I’d highly recommend not reading his book.”

Jim Gaffigan is a very funny comic.  His humor tends to be about being fat, his love of food, and being the father of five children.  With the stress of the start of a new semester, I was looking for an audiobook to listen to that would make me laugh and put me at ease.  Food:  A Love Story fit the bill.  I’ve previously read and enjoyed Fat Dad by Gaffigan and in August my husband and I saw him perform live in Green Bay.  It was a fun date night!

Food:  A Love Story is true to its name.  The entire book is Gaffigan’s love of food and he manages to bring humor his singular obsession with food.  He discusses types of food (bacon, pizza, cheese, kale, etc.), places to find different foods (airports, different cities around the world).  He also discusses holidays and how they are really all about eating – so true.  I loved the titles of some of these sections such as “Bacon – The Candy of Meat” and “Hot Pockets – A Blessing and a Curse.”  As a fan of food, I loved all of these selections and Gaffigan’s humorous takes on all types of foods.  I often found myself laughing out loud on my daily commute.  That isn’t weird is it?

As Gaffigan’s wife, Jeannie, is from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, the book had an entire section devoted to Wisconsin and Wisconsin foods are mentioned throughout the book. “It’s hard enough to eat healthy normally.  It’s impossible in Wisconsin.”  Wisconsin foods such as brats, fried cheese curds, kringles, butter burgers, etc. were lovingly discussed in this book.  But where was the talk during the cheese section?  Gaffigan discusses how American cheese is what America has provided to the world of cheese . . . I want Jim Gaffigan to do a tour of Wisconsin tasting all of the cheese.  Colby cheese and Colby Jack cheese were created in Wisconsin and are a family favorite. 

I was offended that pie is referred to as a secondary dessert compared to cake by Gaffigan.  That is sacrilegious in my pie-loving family.  Although on second thought, I do love cake.  As my old weight watchers group leader told me, “Always eat the cake.”

Gaffigan is a great narrator of this audiobook– his tone of voice in situations such as when he says “Hot Pocket” or when he criticizes his own performance by a  nameless person outraged at what he has to say makes the joke.  It wouldn’t work if he wasn’t the narrator!

I appreciate that Gaffigan is a clean comic.  It seems like so many comics relay on foul language or extreme racy talk on sex to find humor.  I find it to be a cheap kind of humor that is trying to use shock value to illicit laughs.

I loved the ending of the book where the talked about what his last final meal would be. I especially loved when he talked about how your last meal should correlate with your death.  I laughed out loud at if you die from choking, it should be on bacon.  That wouldn’t be a bad way to go.

I’m currently watching Gaffigan’s comedy specials on Netflix.  There are similar jokes to the book, but the book had a lot of other jokes as well and had the specialty of being devoted entirely to food.

Overall, Food:  A Love Story is a hilarious accounting of the hits and misses of food around the United States and world as only can be told through the unique humor of Jim Gaffigan.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a laugh or just an honest look at the food we eat.


  1. Wonderful review, Laura! I am a big fan of Jim Gaffigan--he is hilarious! I have watched many of his performances on TV. His Hot Pocket and bacon routines really "take the cake"!

  2. They certainly do! Gaffigan is hilarious! I need to watch the rest of his performances on Netflix.