Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard... MORE

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2014 Gift Guide, Day Twenty Four

Deep Dark Soft Seductive You either love it or you don't. Those who hate licorice will tell you about their first communion with the stuff, which invariably includes five gallon glass jars, broken teeth and cobwebs. But true licorice is something else. It's warm and spicy, with a flavor that fills your mouth and then your mind. Most Americans only...

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2014 Gift Guide, Day 23

Aroma Matters Just how much of our sensory experience of food is informed by our taste buds, how much by our noses? I once did a radio show with Daniel Boulud, where we put clothespins on our noses, blindfolds on our eyes, and began eating jelly beans. It was truly stunning; we literally could not tell the difference between cherry...

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2014 Gift Guide, Day 22

Poor Man's Caviar Or maybe not so poor. Bottarga, the cured roe of grey mullet, isn't exactly cheap. On the other hand, you get the hit of caviar - that sexy saline flavor - without the expense. Because you just can't eat that much of it. Bottarga is poised to be tomorrow's uni - the food darling of the moment...

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