Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

You’ve doubtless heard the expression “Food is love” — but it’s rarely so literally expressed as in Kim Sun‚e’s memoir. Abandoned by her mother in a Korean marketplace at age three, Sun‚e was adopted, along with another Korean baby girl, by an American couple and raised in New Orleans. She came closest to finding a sense of belonging when she worked in the kitchen alongside her adopted grandfather, Poppy. “Suzy and I are the only Oriental girls, as we are called, in our school,” she writes, “so the comfort of Poppy’s kitchen after school every day, the promise of his home-cooked meals, are a refuge?solid food to remind us that we exist, that we live in a new world where we have not been forgotten.” Readers track Sun‚e’s journey through her misfit childhood, her exotic European travels, her absorption into the world of a rich, attentive, yet controlling lover — their relationship is so food-focused that what may be the most erotic passage is about eating “fresh fat figs dripping with their own milk” — and, ultimately, her struggle to find her own voice, purpose, and place. Along the way, Sun‚e drops favorite recipes — from Poppy’s Crawfish Bisque to La Daube Proven‡ale to Kimchi Soup — like breadcrumbs along her path, leading the reader to the sumptuous heart of her tale. –