Global Gourmets: 5 Cookbooks That Bring Home a World of Flavour
When the pandemic travel bug bites, head to the kitchen. Photo: sveta_zarzamora/GettyImages
“I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable” — Anthony Bourdain
When the travel bug bites, a trip to the bookshelf isn’t quite the same as jumping on a plane, but it can help to satisfy the wanderlust. After all, the best regional cookbooks are more than a collection of recipes, but also provide a glimpse into the culture, history and scenery of a place far from your kitchen.
These five cultural cookbooks — all shortlisted for the 2021 Taste Canada Awards, the annual foodie fest celebrating Canadian cookbook authors — will transport you to some of the world’s most exotic, and need we say it, delicious, destinations.
1. Bisous & Brioche: Classic French Recipes and Family Favorites From a Life in France by Laura Bradbury and Rebecca Wellman (TouchWood Editions, Victoria)
If a rustic French cottage in Burgundy sounds like just the thing about now, pick up this cookbook from the bestselling author of the Grape Series memoirs. Featuring regional classics like vinaigrettes, crêpes, cassoulet and coq au vin, Bradbury shares recipes picked up from her life as an expat in France, handed down through her husband’s French family, as well as from her friends and neighbours.
2. Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day by Eden Grinshpan (Penguin Canada, Toronto)
Chef Bobby Flay said this about Eating Out Loud: “Finally! Eden Grinshpan is letting us in on her secrets of her healthful and deliriously delicious cooking.”
Known for her bright, bold flavours, and for mixing and matching traditional ingredients in creative ways, Grinshpan delivers a playful take on Middle Eastern cuisine. From roasting whole heads of broccoli topped with herbaceous yogurt and crunchy, spice-infused dukkah (a blend of nuts and spices) to a toasted pita salad brimming with juicy summer peaches, tomatoes and fresh herbs, these dishes will give your repertoire an instant refresh.
3. Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand by Nuit Regular (Penguin Canada, Toronto)
Eat your way through northern Thailand with authentic recipes featuring the unique flavours of the area. Beyond cuisine — with mouthwatering dishes like steamed chicken dumplings, northern beef curry and vegetarian golden bags (spring roll wrappers that are deep fried) — the book also includes a stunning collection of essays and location photography.
4. The B.C. Wine Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from Wineries across British Columbia by Jennifer Schell, Appetite (Random House, Vancouver)
Discover the lush vineyards and valleys of British Columbia’s wine country with this book from award-winning cookbook author and winemaker Jennifer Schell. The collection of recipes and family stories from the province’s 53 top wineries reflects the multi-cultural heritage of the region, with recipes from tourtière to turkey moussaka to roast caribou.
5. The Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora by Lena Tashjian (Author, Richmond Hill)
Give your veggies a cultural twist with this collection of plant-based dishes from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora. With over 115 recipes, Tashjian takes readers on a culinary journey through the country’s kitchens and rich traditions.
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