Cookbooks to Travel Through, Our Favourites
Hi hi hi – happy Thursday! I hope this post finds you well. It dawned on me last week that, although I like to think of this space as ‘a food & travel blog‘, there’s been no new travel content since my Dingle Guide in September. That’s a heck of a long time ago. Clearly, international travel isn’t an option right now – thanks, Covid-19 – so I started to think of different ways to travel, without actually going anywhere. My all time favourite way to do this is through food, so I thought I’d compile a list: Cookbooks to Travel Through, Our Favourites.
How can you travel through cookbooks?
If you’re anything like me and Boyfriend, you’re missing traveling right now. Like, big time. Since turning 16, this is the longest I’ve ever gone without leaving the country – 13 months and counting – and the itch is real. These days, I can often be found reading back over my old travel posts in the hope to relive a moment, a meal, an experience, or the rush of discovering a new place.
Food, I’ve found, is something that can connect us with those far away places – even if we’re stuck in our kitchen, hundreds of miles away. The cookbooks listed below are some of my very favourite to leaf through these days. I can almost lose myself in the recipes, the photographs, the stories, and forget that I’m somewhere else entirely. Cookbooks to Travel through, literally.
Cookbooks to Travel Through, Our Favourites
Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence
Florence is one of my favourite cities ever, so I didn’t need much of a push when Molly Yeh recommended Florentine by Emiko Davies. Recently, I’ve come to realize that if I could go anywhere tomorrow, it would be Italy. I feel the longing for it in my very bones, and this is the book of my Italian dreams. It is filled with mouthwateringly delicious Tuscan recipes, and the photos are so beautiful it makes me want to cry. I especially love the ease with which the recipes are approached – it feels like my imaginary Italian nonna wrote them. Added bonus: the book was reprinted this year with a travel section full of Emiko’s recommendations on where to eat in Florence. I can’t wait to try them out!
Favourite Recipes: Pizza da Bar / Tuscan Focaccia / Fagioli all’Olio / Pollo al Mattone
Related Cookbooks: Back Pocket Pasta / Bill’s Italian Food
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love
My love for Dishoom is well documented in my What We’re Eating During Lockdown post, and it has only grown since then. At the time, cooking Indian food was quite new and intimidating for me, but now I totally love it! Literally every recipe I’ve made has been a hit – breakfasts, drinks, veggie, curries, everything! – and a few are now bi-weekly staples. The authors include their own recommendations on where to eat and visit within certain areas in Bombay, and there’s an adorable pull-out map.
Favourite Recipes: Chicken Ruby / Masala Beans / Rajma / Bacon Naan Roll
New York Cult Recipes
New York Cult Recipes is one of the first cookbooks that Boyfriend ever gifted me and we still love it. Many, many of the pages are dog eared and splattered with food – always a good sign. The cookbook provides detailed descriptions about specific restaurants and cafes, New York landmarks in some cases, and replicates their famed recipes. I’ve only been to New York once, but the book goes into so much detail I feel like a pro in regards to the food scene there.
Favourite Recipes: Spaghetti & Meatballs / Cinnamon Rolls / Dill Potato Salad
Related Cookbooks: LA Cult Recipes
Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
Eat Istanbul was perhaps my first travel cookbook, one that I spotted in Iceland and simply had to have. Of course, Iceland was so expensive that I ordered the book online instead. I’ve never been to Turkey, but flipping through this makes me feel as though I have. The food, the photos, the loyalty to the names of meals etc., it’s beautiful.
Favourite Recipes: Lamb Yogurtlu Kebap / Cigar Borek
Mastering The Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 & 2
A travel cookbook guide would simply be incomplete without the original travel cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Probably like thousands of others, I simply had to have the book after seeing Julie & Julia. Flouncing around my kitchen making fancy food with the carefree mantra of ‘when you’re alone in the kitchen, who’s to know?‘ sounded pretty good to me. These days, I use the books as a reference for any kind of French term or technique that I’m unfamiliar with. And obviously I’ll always & forever use it for Julia’s famed Bourguignon. There’s no travel section in the book, but the obvious love of France makes it feel like there is.
Favourite Recipes: Boeuf Bourguignon / Tarte Normande aux Pommes
Okay friends, there we have it: Our Favourite Cookbooks to Travel Through. What did you think? Am I missing any major cookbooks? I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above – be it travel or cooking or cookbooks!