I really enjoyed this collection of linked essays about the history and taxonomy of food words. In fact, I finished it over one weekend of travel--it was accessible and breezy enough to be read continuously on three-hour train rides.
Each essay examines either a grouping of words (salad, salsa, sauce, salt) or a genre of food writing (menus, reviews, etc.), although the essays are well-connected and refer back to one another. About half the analysis is linguistic and makes use of specially written software to produce a quantitative report of when and how certain words are used. The other half is historical, tracing the evolution of certain words as they travelled from country to country centuries ago. The latter is interesting, but the former is useful, and I think I'll be incorporating some of the book's linguistic observations (such as how the sound of words influences perception of meaning) into my own writing.