This mouthwatering, intimate, and sensual memoir traces Monica Meneghetti’s unique life journey through her relationship with food, family, and love. As the youngest child of a traditional Italian-Catholic immigrant family, Monica learns the intimacy of the dinner table and the ritual of meals, along with the requirements of conformity both at the table and in life.


  • Winner, Bisexual Book Awards — Memoir 2017
  • Runner-up, Lambda Literary Award— Bisexual Nonfiction 2017


What the Mouth Wants expresses with eloquent candor that while there are boundaries and behaviors to challenge, others of flesh and blood are sometimes best left alone.”

—Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews

“Through vivid, dream-like vignettes, Monica Meneghetti explores that which sustains families, both biological and chosen, through loss and growth. Written with the precision of a recipe and the lyricism of a poem, What the Mouth Wants approaches difficult or misunderstood topics—the death of a parent, childhood and ancestral trauma, bisexuality, and polyamory—with sensitivity and honesty.”

— Sierra Skye Gemma, winner of a National Magazine Award and National Newspaper Award

“In delicious bite-sized morsels, Monica Meneghetti serves up a feast of memory that will leave you richly satisfied—yet ravenous for more.”

— Susan Olding, award-winning writer and author