Cookbook literacy

 open books

Whenever someone asks me if I’ve read any good books lately, I always hesitate slightly before responding “Well, I’ve been reading some great cookbooks.” I’m afraid that the person might not think that cookbooks count toward the activity of reading. But when I think about it more, I wonder ‘why shouldn’t they’? Cookbooks are so much more than just practical manuals to help make a meal (although they do that, too). Sarah Whitman-Salkin explains the importance of cookbooks in an editorial on indexed website Food52.

Whitman-Salkin contends that cookbooks are not just important to people who cook, but to society as a whole. They tell the story of the culture in which they’re based, explaining how families are structured, and more. As Whitman-Salkin notes, cookbooks “contain everything: time and space and history and culture and politics and weather and human relationships and the way families are structured and the way societies are structured and economics and humor and art and an endless supply of human personalities and voices.”

So the next time someone asks me what I’ve read lately, I will proudly tell them which cookbook I’m currently enthralled by (because there’s always at least one). 

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One Comment

  • Nancith  on  February 23, 2017

    Agreed! I add the cookbooks that I read to my list on a book website–I've seen that some folks question that as not really reading. Ha! I'll take reading a good cookbook over a sordid romance novel any day!

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