“Celebrating 365 Food Holidays with Classic Recipes”

by John-Bryan Hopkins (creator of

For a long time I’ve been a fan of Foodimentary.  I don’t always agree with the food with the corresponding day to the food being celebrated, for example, being Italian, March 15 is St. Joseph’s day, and there is even a special pastry named for it.  But I realize that this book extends way beyond ethnic and normal cultural norms.  It is a book that any one can pick up and learn something new.

Does every every food need a holiday? Why not? The fact is, there are far too many foods, dishes and recipes to celebrate in any given year.  So yes, every day we should celebrate food that has made history in our culture. The author even went as far back as thousands of yeas ago in Roman times to validate the days in which certain foods are celebrated.

The book begins with the Season of Spring and breaks them down month by month, day by day. I asked the author John-Bryan Hopkins in an interview why he chose to do it this way, he replied “I did not feel like it was a ‘calendar book’ as much as story told through food holidays. Starting with Spring is a great way to tell the story, not Winter.  Each season has a different artist as well, they have similar work, yet tell the tale of each season. I put a lot of thought into all the details and I hope it shows, even if subtly”.

I have to agree.  Spring is when flowers bloom, a new planting season is upon us and we turn away from all the meats and stews and turn to vegetables and fruits. I was born in the spring and it is fun to know that right on cue my birthday is National Pretzel Day. What a keen coincidence that this is one of my all time favorite snacks. I love my soft pretzels at street fairs, hard pretzels with beer and of course the Peppridge Farm Goldfish pretzel snacks are pretty much a staple in my house.

What I love about this book most is it incorporates everything I love, food, trivia and recipes. There is quite a bit of education in this as well.  For example, yesterday was October 16th – National Liqueur Day. How is this different than Liquor?  It explains: “Although both liqueurs and liquors contain alcohol, there is a difference between the two.  A liqueur is a distilled spirit that is sweetened with fruit, herbs, spices, flowers or fruit, such as peppermint schnapps, Kahlua, or Cointreau.  Liquor is distilled alcohol that is made from fermented gains, such as vodka, gin, brandy, and whiskey”. 

Filled with fun facts, trivia, recipes, history and food you may not have even heard of, this book is a gem and is definitely on our required reading list.  It is the first book of its kind to list all the food holidays that exist.  It will certainly introduce you to new foods, and remind you of those from he past which might be long forgotten.  For me, it sparks and interest to break from the norma and celebrate all the other food and drink options that are out there that need attention.

This is an incredibly fun book, whether its on the coffee table, in the kitchen or just on the shelf as reference for when you can’t decide what to cook.  While I am a huge fan of iBooks which you can fit an entire library on your smart phone or table, this is one book that definitely needs to be read and enjoyed in its hardcover format.


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