"I really wonder about this. Do the food thoughts ever go away???"
Congratulations on the 9 days you have achieved so far!
The extent to which we think about food in a fast varies a lot from person to person and indeed can vary considerably in the same person from one hour (or one day or one fast) to the next.
I believe people who are good at making their fast a smooth experience find a way to surrender to the process and think about food a lot less.
If you are actually feeling "hunger" in your belly, that certainly makes it more challenging so i do empathize with you in your plight.
As one possible suggestion, if it was me and i was not able to ignore the feeling of hunger away, i would actually embrace it at this point by smelling food. This brings a certain satisfaction for me and helps such a crisis to pass. To be clear, i would not smell food while smooth sailing, only at the point where the hunger or cravings for food have reached a level where attempts to ignore them are futile... and SOS, if you feel that smelling the food would cause you to break your fast, this idea is not for you :).