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National/international/ethnic cuisine books


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I'm interested in collecting books that feature good recipes for home style dishes from around the world. I have a fairly extensive collection, ranging from fairly broad Eastern European and South American books to region-specific titles such as The Illustrated Cape Malay Cookbook and Catalan Cuisine. I'm missing some, tho', and I'm looking for recommendations to fill the gaps.

I'd like recommendations for ...

Nordic (I have Noma, of course, but I'm after the sort of food normal people cook at home and traditional dishes)

Hawaii and other Pacific islands

Caribbean (all I can find at the moment are the Levi Roots books--and I'm not sure if a series of books by a very rich musician with a side line in hot sauce is what I'm after)

African (I have a few African books, actually, mostly South African, and most of them are shit)

Polish

Indigenous Australian

Irish (looking at the Coleman Andrews one at the moment--thoughts?)

US--beyond New Orleans/Cajun/Creole (already have a couple of good books on that), ideally including something about the Texan/Mexican border area

Mongolian

Arab (think Saudi Arabia/Kuwait/Yemen as opposed to Lebanon/Syria/Israel)

Croat/Serb/Bosnian

Belgian

Dutch

Chinese Islamic

Macanese

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Chris, do you read Spanish? If so, there is a wealth out there for Caribbean cooking (particularly the ABC's and Dominican Republic.) I won't reccomend until I know, though.

For a really good Northern US cookbook, look for Staebler's Food that Really Schmecks, which is a fantastic guide to Mennonite cooking.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I'm looking forward to other's suggestions, especially for Dutch and Polish recipes.

Re indigenous Australian cookbooks, the two that came to mind were The Black Olive cookbook and Edna's Table. Are these the type you had in mind? I don't have either, so can't comment, but I have seen Mark Olive's TV segments, and think his book would be worth a look. I never made it to Edna's Table before it closed, but its reputation would also make the book worth a look. There are four copies on eBay (and one copy of 'food that really schmecks').

Also, there are some Arabic and Uighur recipes in Flatbreads and Flavours.

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I don't read Spanish, no, but if the Spanish-language books are much better than what's avaliable in English I guess I'd buy an Oxford English-Spanish dictionary and deal with it.

EDIT

Snadra, if you're into this kind of thing, here's my list

Pan-African: Taste of Africa - Hafner

West African: My Cooking - Ogunsanya

South African: Complete South Africa, Cape Malay Illustrated, South African Illustrated (hoping the upcoming Springbok and Spice will be good)

Middle Eastern: Arabesque - Malouf; Middle Eastern Food - Roden

Eastern Europe: Please to the Table - von Bremzen

South America: South American Table - Kijac

French: Wolfert, Bourdain, Bras, Escoffier, Le Repertoire, Ducasse, Larousse, North, Pepin, Keller, Reynaud, Robuchon, Au Pied de Cochon, Gagnaire

Hungary: Culinaria Hungary

German: Culinaria Germany

Italian: Made in Italy - Locatelli; Essentials - Hazan, Jamie's Italy, Italian Local - Puttock

Jewish: Roden

Morocco: Wolfert

Sri Lanka: Kuravita's Serendip

Argentina: Seven Fires

Japanese: Dashi and Umami, Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

Nepal: A Taste of Nepal

Turkish: Turquoise - Malouf

Greek: Press Club - Calombaris; Culinaria Greece

Indonesia/Malaysia/Singapore - Culinaria SE Asia

Korean: Korean Table - Chung

New Orleans/other US: Jamie's America, Creole Gumbo & All That Jazz, Real Cajun, My New Orleans, Ad Hoc

Portugal: Piri-piri & Starfish - Kiros

Chinese: Simple Chinese Cooking & My China - Kwong; Land of Plenty - Dunlop

British: Nose to Tail pts 1 and 2 - Henderson; Black Pudding & Foie Gras - Pern

Iran/old Persia: New Food of Life

Australia: Floyd on Oz, Matt Moran, Quay, Pier, most of Neil Perry's books, Lake House, Cuisine de Temps, others

Indian: Jaffery's Curry Bible, 50 Great Curries of India

Spanish: MoVida, Catalan Cuisine, New Spanish Table, Basque Table

Thai: Thompson's Thai Food

Mexican: Kennedy's Art of Mexican Cooking and Essential Mexican Cuisines

Pan-Asian/SE Asian: Perry, Liaw, Floyd

Burma: Taste of Shan

Cambodia: Food & Cooking of Cambodia

Laos: Traditional Recipes of Laos

Filipino: Filipino Cooking

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Oh, yeah, I have an Afghan book too. It's pretty dodgy tho'.

And, too, on the Vietnamese from, Luke Nguyen's Red Lantern.

Too, Please to the Table covers a bit of Central Asia as well as Eastern Europe. Basically the old USSR.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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SO into this kind of thing!! Love your list - are there any that you particularly treasure? There's a thread here on the Culinaria books which makes them very tempting...

I've got please to the table and it's pretty extensive - there are a huge number of recipes which I've tagged and am looking forward to trying. There's another Russian/soviet book I've come across that apparently was/is the book given to new brides and I'd like to get - just can't remember the name... I can also highly recommend "Georgian Feast" and "A Taste of Russia" by Darra Goldstein -her background is in Russian Lit, and she spends some time discussing the culture and traditions, which I personally love (she also wrote the text for a coffee table book called Russian Houses which is gorgeous). Am I right in thinking the Lake House book is a Russian-influenced?

Have you come across European Peasant Cookery by Elisabeth Luard? It's got a strong focus on Spain, Italy and the UK, but most regions are covered. There are more pancake recipes in than you can stab with a syrup laden fork. If you want more German cookery, the Mimi Sheraton one is very worthwhile (I don't really like the Oetker ones). Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson (Scandanavian) came out a year or so ago, but it has little context to the recipes so i passed on it.

(Recs for any Baltic cookbooks eagerly accepted)

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I've yet to sink my teeth into a lot my new books but of the old ones I really like Bourdain, MoVida, Thai Food, Land of Plenty and 50 Great Curries. Of my more recent purchases--these have caught my eye but haven't stood the test of time yet--I am most attracted to Bras' Essential Cuisine (flashy restaurant food, mind you, not home-style), Art of Mexican Cooking, Catalan Cuisine, My New Orleans and Keller's Bouchon. Dashi and Umami is really interesting, too. Haven't had any of the Culinaria tomes arrive on my doorstep yet--I chose them because they were extensive, cheap and reasonably well-regarded. And, too, it's not like there are that many English-language Malaysian, German and Hungarian books to choose from.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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For Trinidadian cooking, may I recommend the Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook. It is the cookbook for proper Trini cooking, as in what people actually make and eat at home. Trinidad has such a mixture of differnt cuisines, from Indian, African, Caribbean-fusion, Chinese, Middle Eastern, European, and all of these styles are well represented in the book.

The book was originally published as a fund raiser for the school on it's diamond jubilee and the recipes were collected from the families who attended the school. It has become a Trinidadian institution and is a must have for anyone trying to cook Trini food.

I have the old version with a pink cover that I brought back from Trinidad (it was a present from family out there) and also a newer version that a Trinidadian friend/distant relative visiting Bristol brought over as a gift. You can see both versions here. Looks like there is now also a website selling the shiny new version of the book, here. The old diamond jubilee edition (the pink one) hasn't really got pictures (a few drawings here and there and a couple of black and whites) but the new version has some colour pictures.

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Caribbean (all I can find at the moment are the Levi Roots books--and I'm not sure if a series of books by a very rich musician with a side line in hot sauce is what I'm after)

African (I have a few African books, actually, mostly South African, and most of them are shit)

Have you seen the books by Jessica Harris (PhD)? She's got a number of books about African cooking, it's influence in the New World, regional cooking in the U.S. South and the Carribbean. She has extensive roots in the Carribbean and Brazil. I've her heard speak several times and she is entertaining and dynamic. She is actually a professor of English but also works as a culinary consultant.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two that I like a lot that are not especially regional but certainly have an emphasis on "home style" are A Real American Breakfast by Jamison and Jamison, and Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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  • 3 weeks later...

For Nordic, I'd suggest The Great Scandinavian Cook Book, "an Encyclopedia of Domestic Cookery" (Crown, 1967). It's "translated from the Swedish and edited by J. Audrey Ellison, B.Sc., American Consultant Charlotte Turgeon". Editor-in-Chief of the Swedish edition: Karin Fredrickson. It's long out of print, but used copies are still available, and you may be able to find it in a library somewhere to examine before buying. It's encyclopedic in coverage, but is organized in fairly traditional cook book style, with sections on, for example, grains, meats, seafood, and baking. In addition to recipes, it has instructions, photo illustrated, for many kitchen/culinary tasks, such as how to filet fish or how to make short crust pastry. There are a number of pages of full color plates of pictures of things such as fish, vegetables, meats, fruits, etc. It is somewhat dated, but since you're interested in home style dishes, that shouldn't matter much.

Getting away from cookbooks a little, but still within the ethnic cuisine area, are you familiar with Joan Peterson's "Eat Smart in (countryname)" series? They're intended for people traveling to the country/region of the title. They start out with some culinary history of the area, some discussion of regions, some sample recipes, information on how to shop and where to get ingredients in the U.S., and some useful phrases, followed by an extensive list of menu items/dishes and an extensive list of "foods and flavors". She has guides for France, Sicily, Mexico, Peru, India, Brazil, Turkey, Morocco, Poland, and Indonesia, and has one coming out for Norway. It's an excellent series.

Dick in Northbrook, IL

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For Irish food I would look at Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen and frankly anything by Darina Allen who runs the Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland and their web site has a lot of fun information on it.

For middle eastern / african I have a lot of good books by Arto der Haroutunian

For Afghan try a Pinch of Salt by Rahima Amini

Beatrice Ojakangas is good on Scandinavian

Austrian Cooking by Gretel Beer is comprehensive

Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek covers a lot of Belgian home cooking.

Just a few more ideas,

Lapin

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Don't forget about The Border Cookbook by Bill Jamison and Cheryl Jamison. As long as you don't require color photos of recipes in your cookbooks, it's great for the Texas/Mexico border area.

For the northern USA, you might consider Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson.

Second the recommendation for Everybody Eats Well in Belgium.

As far as Dutch cooking, I can't think of anything better than Chufi's Dutch cooking thread.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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As for Nordic cooking, I would suggest taking a look at Andreas Viestad's book Kitchen of Light. I'm Norwegian myself, so I haven't read "Kitchen of Light" myself, but Viestad has a quite solid standing in the Norwegian food literature scene. He has published several books in Norwegian, and I think his style might be what you're looking for (contemporary home cooking - perhaps not so much on the more traditional dishes). Perhaps also worth a look: The Scandinavian Cookbook or Aquavit?

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I highly recommend Gil Mark's Olive Trees and Honey. It is a collection of Jewish vegetarian dishes from across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. It is interesting to see how the Jewish communities adapted dishes as they moved from one country to another due to expulsion or persecution.

How do you define Irish? I have a thing for Chef Denis Cotter's work. He is from Cork Ireland, but his cooking will include dishes from Southeast Asia, Middle East, as well as more traditional Irish flavors. He proposed an interesting question once, whats more Irish, lamb stew with lamb flown in from New Zealand, or a Thai curry made from local produce?

The books by the Lee Brothers are a great introduction into Lowland Southern cuisine. Simple Fresh Southern is a great book for those busy days when you need to make a quick meal.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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