June 2013 cookbook roundup

Every month Susie Chang reviews new cookbook releases and notes trends in the United States. And she may also occasionally throw in a review of a "not-quite cookbook."  And for our non-U.S. members, Jane and Fiona provide similar reviews for new U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.


Summer vacation is coming fast - which means books on gardens and farms and café lunches (the more rugged books - grilling and camping - came and went in a flash last month).  It's a time when smaller presses and overseas presses, who are less sensitive to the traditional cookbook-publishing schedules than the Big Six are, tend to emerge from the background.

A History of Food


A History of Food in 100 Recipes, by William Sitwell: The well-known British food writer and editor has successfully tackled a large job - a narrative history of food as seen through 100 recipes, from ancient Egyptian bread to modernist cuisine.



Saving the Season


 Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving, by Kevin West: This one aims for comprehensive (as opposed to cute and graphic, like most recent contenders).



Gifts from the Garden

Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Homegrown Presents, by Debora Robertson:  Not just food - facial masks, herbal scrubs, and other little luxuries you could otherwise pay $16.95 for at Whole Foods.



Animal Farm Buttermilk cookbook

 The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook: Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy, by Diane St. Clair: I hear buttermilk's trendy these days.  Whatever - it's eternally tart, refreshing, and delicious.





Franny's: Simple Seasonal Italian, by Melissa Clark, Andrew Feinbergand Francine Stephens: The popular Brooklyn eatery launches its first print venture.



flour, too


Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories, by Joanne Chang and Michael Harlan Turkell: Not just a bakery!  Flour, Too captures the rest of the confectioner's offerings - brunchy, sandwichy indulgences for any time of day




the Perfectly roasted chicken

 The Perfectly Roasted Chicken: 20 New Ways to Roast Plus a Host of Salads, Soups, Pastas, and More, by Mindy Fox: Inscrutable timing, but roast chicken still tastes good in the heat of the summer - as long as you can get out of the now-steaming kitchen.  





Kale: The Complete Guide to the World's Most Powerful Superfood, by Stephanie Pedersen: Hollywood's favorite vegetable takes a solo turn in an action-filled summer superhero blockbuster.



 Working Class foodies cookbook

The Working Class Foodies Cookbook: 100 Delicious Seasonal and Organic Recipes for Under $8 per Person, by Rebecca Lando: Contrarian chowhounds check their wallets and value-shop for treats.



Great Vegan Bean Book  

 The Great Vegan Bean Book: More than 100 Delicious Plant-Based Dishes Packed with the Kindest Protein in Town!, by Kathy Hester and Renee Comet: Several dozen ways to slip the shackles of carnivory.



Lost and Vintage Recipes


Lost and Vintage Recipes, by Amy Traverso:  Classic heirloom recipes from the archives of Yankee Magazine, dating back to the 1930s.  The recipes have been retested and updated for today's cooks and there are stories and histories for many of the recipes too.



taste of honey

 Taste of Honey, by Marie Simmons Marie doesn't just include recipes using honey, she helps readers understand the life of a bee, and how the territory of its habitat influences both the color and flavor of the honey they produce. Then she explains how these flavor profiles are best paired with certain ingredients in over 60 simple, delicious recipes.


Some June trends: Canning & pickling (as usual), raw food and detox and superfoods (for those feeling particularly body-conscious in their swimsuits), international buy-ins.



And here are the new arrivals from the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand:

 From the U.K.:

Ginger Pig


Ginger Pig Farmhouse Kitchen, by Tim Wilson and Fran Warde: The second book from the high quality meat producers who want you to cook their meat in the best possible way. This book contains recipes from their farmhouse kitchen and although it focuses on meat, it includes sides and desserts too.



Rick's Stein's India


Rick Stein's India by Rick Stein:  The British TV chef takes another odyssey, this time through the  vibrant colours, spices and tastes of authentic Indian cuisine.  Rick also brings the six finest dishes that he's discovered on his journey back to the UK and puts them to the test. 



The Pitt Cue co.


The Pitt Cue Co. The Cookbook,  by Tom Adams, Jamie Berger, Simon Anderson, and Richard H. Turner: Having started with a  food truck and progressed to a tiny but popular Soho restaurant, this London crew is now sharing their recipes for barbecue and all the sides in their first cookbook.





Levant: Recipes and Stories from the Middle East by Anissa Helou   This is a collection of mouth-watering recipes inspired by Anissa's family and childhood in Beirut and Syria, and her travels around the exciting regions of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.  She draws them together through the themes of family, farm, souks (markets), restaurants, bakeries and the sweetmakers and attempts to record the food traditions of countries that are changing beyond recognition and at risk of disappearing.



Mange tout


Mange Tout by Bruno Loubet: The legendary London restaurateur draws together recipes inspired by his travels.  He includes his own French bistro signature dishes and gives each his own unique interpretation and a modern twist.



From Australia and New Zealand:


Small Kitchen


Small Kitchen, by Sally Wise A book that caters for the smaller household - this book tells you how to buy, cook and store food in a small kitchen environment-- without waste and with maximum effect. 


 Wholefood Baking

Wholefood Baking, by Jude Blereau:   Wholefood Baking provides lighter, healthier versions of over 120 classic baking recipes for those with specific food allergies and intolerances. The book contains detailed information on how to use natural sweeteners, whole flours and organic ingredients to achieve the best baking results.



On glass

 On Glass, by Victor Scerri:  Having experimented with serving food in glasses for many years, Victor presents a range of entrees consumed from a shot glass, main courses baked straight in the glass and which can be served directly to the table, as well as desserts - in glass. 



 Single Serve

Single Serve: Tasty Everyday Meals for One, by Penny Oliver:  Even when you love good food and do your best to eat well, cooking for one can be something of a chore. It's all too easy to fall into having  the same thing all the time, or resorting to a ready-made or takeaway dinner to give yourself a break. Single Serve will revive and revolutionise your mealtimes.



  • Phillipa  on  6/29/2013 at 3:43 AM

    It seems that Sitwell has found an original theme for his book and to someone interested in not just cooking but the history behind the art, it would truly be a wonderful book. Phillipa shanafelt

  • Breadcrumbs  on  6/29/2013 at 7:37 AM

    Is there a link to the reviews? I'm interested to read Susie's review of Fanny's. On first pass, I found it underwhelming.

  • Jane  on  6/29/2013 at 10:36 AM

    Breadcrumbs - I don't think Susie has reviewed Franny's. We add links to her Boston Globe and NPR reviews as she does them.

  • bernsfield  on  7/5/2013 at 4:20 PM

    The History of Food in 100 Recipes: What an interesting concept for a cookbook! We take for granted how the foods we find commonplace developed and evolved through history. ..from the simple foods for survival to the feasts of the wealthy and powerful. We also must remember how foods "traveled the world" through the journeys of the explorers and population migrations, expanding the horizons of taste for everyone. This would be a wonderful resource for fun and educational dinners as well as a "textbook " of the evolution of food.

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