Gub-Gub the pig was one of the first animals with whom Doctor Dolittle learned to talk and appears in most of the books. This book features stories from and about Gub-Gub's attempt to write an encyclopedia of food.
The frontpiece of the book introduces "An Encyclopaedia of Food in Twenty volumes", going on to explain that "Prof. Gub-Gub Announces that owing to the high cost of living the other 19 volumes of this GREAT WORK have been Temporarily Postponed". The book takes the form of a Scheherazade story, with chapters unfolding evening by evening. As GubG-ub deals patiently with his raucous animal friends, they are drawn into his world and find out such vital information on the food map as where King Alfred burnt the cakes.