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Cooking Essays

Comfort Me with Apples

Considering the Pleasures of the Table

by (author) Joe Fiorito

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 2000
Essays, Canadian, Entertaining
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2000
    List Price

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A literary syncopation on the theme of food, Comfort Me With Apples earned Joe Fiorito rave reviews and enthusiastic fans when it was first published in 1994. One writer declared it was “a small miracle of prose.” A rich buffet of diverse short essays, Comfort Me With Apples is about the appetites of the soul as well as the body.

Fiorito’s range is wide: from the ingredients for the best chili dog in the world to the recipe for chicken soup for the courting soul; from the sharp portrait of a young boy’s real hunger to the olfactory pleasures of a proper barbecue. His guests include an Inuk whom he takes to a sushi bar, an old man in pajamas, Julia Child, several daddies, a woman with a seductive appetite, and Hercules. You are invited to join them.


About the author

Joe Fiorito was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. As a young man in Northern Ontario, he worked in a paper mill, surveyed roads, and laboured in bush camps prior to becoming involved in community development and arts consulting. Fiorito spent five years working with a staff of Inuit journalists at CBC Radio in Iqaluit, NWT before transferring to Regina, where he wrote, produced and directed CBC Radio's highly acclaimed "The Food Show," a weekly program about food and agriculture. Fiorito lived for many years in Montreal, where he first wrote a weekly food column for HOUR, and later signed on as a city columnist for The Montreal Gazette. His first collection, Comfort Me with Apples: Considering the Pleasures of the Table, a series of essays about food and memory drawn from Fiorito's HOUR columns,  was published by Nuage Editions (now Signature Editions) in 1994. In 2000, it was  reissued by McLelland & Stewart. Tango on the Main, Fiorito's second collection, was selected from his Gazette columns.Fiorito relocated to Toronto, writing first for The National Post and then for The Toronto Star. In 1999, he published his family memoir, The Closer We Are to Dying (M&S), which became a national best-seller and received widespread critical acclaim. This was followed by the award-winning novel The Song Beneath the Ice (M&S, 2003) and Union Station: Love, Madness, Sex and Survival on the Streets of the New Toronto. (M&S, 2007).

Joe Fiorito's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“How does Joe Fiorito do it? The mixture of toughness, elegance and lethal wit. The street-smart, bruising tenderness packed into language sharper than flint.”
–Mark Abley, author of The Ice Storm

“Fiorito is that wonder of wonders, a deeply curious and perceptive reporter who is also a fine and imaginative writer.”
–Montreal Gazette

“There’s a wise-cracking tenderness to his writing that makes him come across as a sort of Damon Runyon of the north.”
Canadian Forum

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