How to choose the 'keeper' cookbooks


Whenever you face cookbook overload - the shelves are bulging, and there is hardly any room left for even one volume - naturally, that means you will see several new 'must have' books. How do you decide which books are worth buying and taking up that precious real estate, or which of your current collection can be passed on to a new home to make room? Rebekah Denn, writing for The Seattle Times, has some ideas

Denn notes that, although everyone seems to keep predicting the death of recipes, cookbooks just keep getting better and are therefore more worthy of that precious shelf space. You might wonder how that is possible. Our very own Jenny Hartin had the answer, and was quoted in the article where she noted astutely that "Cookbook lovers and cooks are demanding more." We are spending serious cash on these beauties, and we expect them to deliver the goods. The production quality keeps growing as well, with better layouts and gorgeous photography.

Returning to the concept of picking only the 'keepers' among all of the wonderful releases this year, Denn provides some sage advice. She doesn't think that merely delivering one or two great recipes is enough, and advises you to copy those recipes down on a card or in a computer file (don't forget to index those as personal recipes), and then finding that book a new home. 

Denn also gives us some tough love - she says nostalgia should not be a factor in keeping a book. She suggests taking a photo of the cover to preserve the warm fuzzy feelings. Denn also recommends taking a cookbook for a test drive by picking up a copy at the local library before committing to a purchase. We try to find several online recipes for the best new releases to help in that regard. 

At the conclusion of the article, Denn provides her list of 'keeper' books for 2017. The list includes some Member favorites including BraveTart; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; Six Seasons, and The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen


  • sir_ken_g  on  12/14/2017 at 8:13 AM

    Please to see the Pho book listed in the is excellent>

  • annmartina  on  12/14/2017 at 9:25 AM

    I have been able to improve my picks using advice from this site and also subscribing to the Level Teaspoon podcast.

  • Rinshin  on  12/14/2017 at 2:12 PM

    I love my kindle :-)) Perhaps because I'm older and have more disposable income, but I think books were much more expensive 35-40 years ago. No second hand books we can purchase easily like we can now with Amazon, ebay, etc. I still don't like buying brand new books and prefer to buy kindle editions except those in Japanese. I can't buy kindle editions of Japanese language books but if I can, I would purchase them that way too.

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