Recommended books for food lovers
Whether you want to give a book as a present or to put one or more on your wishlist, here’s my recommendations for food lovers.
Read on to discover books that will feed your passion for food. Not all are cookbooks, some are useful guides, others memoirs with a few recipes. I’ve read all of these – often courtesy of Netgalley. Links mostly go through to Bookshop.org – this is where you can support independent bookshops as you buy. Simply choose a bookshop to support. Close to £2 million has been raised since its inception.
Discover your new favourite food book
If you love cooking with herbs and spices, this is definitely the book for you. Why not grow what you use?
Reading through the tropical spices section made me wish I were in a hot climate and able to grow them.
But whilst it is not always possible due to the climate requirements, there are plenty of spices you can grow in your garden.
In addition to detailed information on the spices, there are more general tips and techniques such as growing roots, bulbs and rhizomes; growing the ingredients for Thai soup, It is packed full of information but presented in an accessible way with plenty of great photos.
Yasmin sets out to share the similarities of the dishes found in the Eastern Mediterranean. She has lived in many countries for extended amounts of time and really gets to know both the locals and many of the migrants who have now moved to those regions.
The recipes are delicious, but I particularly love reading the stories at the start of each section.
The book is also awash with beautiful photography depicting the sun we all crave at the moment. Do check this book out
Have you every imagined growing wheat yourself and making bread from it? Robert Penn sets out to do just that. That quest takes him on a worldwide journey. He discovers how to scythe ancient wheats in Turkey; how to winnow; how in America vast tracts of wheat are harvested and how the quest for a white loaf has affected our diet.
Closer to home, he decides the types of wheat he’ll grow and discovers how challenging it is to prepare it for milling. We meet a couple in Wales who restored an old flour mill and who now specialise in milling heritage wheats. We discover his first steps in making good bread.
I read this book in chunks as there are so many facts to absorb. You can only admire the work that’s been put into creating this story. I am sure you’ll never think about wheat in the same way again!
This must simply have one of the best titles going – foraging for mushrooms without dying!
I, like many people, want to be confident in discovering mushrooms that are edible and can be safely gathered. This book is akin to an expert holding your hand. It gently guides you to find those treasures when out walking.
Definitely a reference book to take with you whenever you are out for a walk. Don’t miss nature’s harvest.
This book certainly lives up to its name Fizz. It’s brimming with ideas for drinks you can make at home.
Kombucha and kefir are on many people’s lips, but have you ever thought of making them yourself?
The authors guide you through simple steps to create these tasty drinks and others too including ginger beer and mead and kvass which is made from bread.
There’s a section on cocktails too – using the drinks you’ve made of course!
The premise of this book is to produce tasty dishes in a short space of time. There’s no compromise on flavour.
The first recipe I tried was the mango sauce for mackerel. It was delicious and definitely one we’d make again and again.
The descriptions are clear and easy to follow, I could hear Nisha speaking in my ear.
The chapters are themed around ingredients including poultry, meat, fish and vegetable and even one featuring Nisha’s favourite pasta dishes.
You might be familiar with Tim Anderson a former winner of Masterchef.
He is deeply knowledgable about Japanese cooking. This is his latest book and in his own words, the most personal.
It was written during lockdown.
Izakaya is Japanese comfort food, often served in bars. Its simple to make and very tasty. You will need a few ingredients such as dashi to make these recipes.
For chocolate lovers everywhere. I enjoyed not only the recipes, but the fascinating stories behind them and the story of chocolate in the Jewish culture, including the true story behind the Sachertorte.
There are many recipes to try. Some include unexpected ingredients such as tahini; many are gluten free. In addition to the sweet chocolate recipes, there are also savoury ones too!
The book was created to support Chai Cancer Care. The recipes are gathered from many different chefs around the world and their love of cooking and fondness for their recipes really shine through. It’s far more than a compilation of recipes.
Pies are Awesome The Definitive Pie Art Book:
Step-by-Step Designs for All Occasions Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin
This inspiring book is a must if you like making pastry and want to take it another level.
Jessica provides very detailed instructions borne out of her experience of becoming a pastry art expert in a very short period.
It’s written in a light hearted manner (you just know she’s experienced all the trials and tribulations).
It includes many examples of pies you can make, or just use the techniques to make your own!
A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn – David Ruggerio (E book only)
David Ruggerio writes with such fondness of where he grew up in Brooklyn. He is a well-known American chef who appeared on TV in the 1990s.
The recipes capture that love and respect for the Italian community and give a glimpse into a life that was hard, but always well fed.
The recipes are rustic and hearty and sound utterly delicious. These are Italian American recipes rather than traditionally Italian and well worth exploring.
And finally a book that I am still savouring, but could well be my book of the year!
Not only have I discovered fruit I had never heard of before, I found it fascinating to read about fruit I do know from Kate Lebo’s perspective as they, are less common where she lives (gooseberries for example).
I dipped in rather than read from cover to cover. In one chapter you might discover the darker side of Juniper Berries, in another how important huckleberries are to a native community. Kate weaves stories from her life with that of the fruit. At the end of each chapter is a recipe or two.
The mixture or memoir and fact is unusual but compelling, almost like receiving a hug. Definitely a book to savour. The sub title describes it well Argument for the Tart, Tender and Unruly