There are thousands (millions?) of food books available, but we all have limited time. If you only read four, I’d recommend these. If you only read two, stick to Capon and Kingsolver. And if you only have time to read one, well, I’d recommend a vacation.
Capon, Robert Farrar. The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection. New York: The Modern Library, 2002.
*culture is not optional. Eat Well: A Food Road Map. Three Rivers, MI: 2008. (I’m a contributing author in this book.)
Kingsolver, Barbara; Camille Kingsolver; Stephen L. Hopp. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Delimma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.