My books tend to feature food. Not to the extent some books do, where they actually share recipes in the back pages, but I do like to imagine my characters eating. Interesting discussions happen over a meal.
If you write fantasy or historical fiction, or are simply interested in history, What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista Ball is good reading.
I love imagining great restaurant food. It's an excuse to check out menus online, and then, inspired, make up my own perfect meal - without messy cleaning up or the frankly impossible price.
I also share food ideas from my own life. If my characters are in a rush, I try to think what I'd cook in such situations.
It's interesting to read contemporary novels from different eras and see how eating trends shift. Stirfries, pasta, pizza, bbq, all have their time, and then, become dated. Have you ever read a novel where the character uses a pressure cooker? It's so 1950s. Food is a subtle way to position a novel in time.
Last, but not least, food is sensual. In a romance novel, as the characters dance towards intimacy, food can play a major role. It is sharing, indulgence and celebration.
I guess I'd better wind up the post with a recipe, except ... I really don't feel like cooking, today. Nope, not even fictionally.
Anyone want a donut? And while you contemplate that sugary-overload, do you have a book you love for its food?