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What are your favorite undervalued cookbook(s) of 2020?   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 12, 2021 2:14:46 AM(UTC)

Every year I find some truly great cookbooks that seem to have sailed under the radar of the better known ranking organizations. This year, I would have to list (in no particular order):


Simple Fruit: Seasonal Recipes for Baking, Poaching, Sautéing, and Roasting by Laurie Pfalzer : Yes, you may have seen me in baking classes taught by her ... but I love fruit based desserts and she manages to find just the right flavoring twist.


In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen: Yes, this is much better known. While in lock-down, I've enjoyed more cookbooks that are as interesting for reading and photos as for recipes.


Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein The recipes put this in my top choices - love this cookbook


Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen by Ravinder Bhogal this is a fun and irreverant take where the flavors work well. Why not kimchi parathas?


Under the Olive Tree: Recipes from my Greek Kitchen by Irini Tzortzoglou every now and then I need to honor my French-Greek Mother-in-law. This provides recipes almost as good as Genie's ... but hers were flavored with gracious lovingness.


Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins I've not tried many recipes from this but I loved learning of the different cuisine cultures of Sri Lanka 


What treasures did you find?

#2 Posted : Friday, January 15, 2021 1:50:59 PM(UTC)

For 2020 publications, I enjoy Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania by Irina Georgescu. I think Romanian food is still waiting to be discovered in the culinary world. I lived in Romania from 1994-1995, and this book inspires fond memories.


I also like Venetian Republic: recipes from the Veneto, Adriatic Croatia, and the Greek Islands by Nino Zoccali. They are in three different countries today, but you can understand the historical links in the food. This book has an abundance of fish & shellfish recipes too.


Like you, I also enjoyed Darra Goldstein's Beyond the North Wind. So much that I then purchased her 2015 book Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, along with Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen (2019) by Alissa Timoshkina.


Jenny reviewed both Carpathia and Venetian Republic for EYB. I can verify that both cookbooks have beautiful photography of both the food and landscapes.


There is one additional 2020 cookbook that is still on my wishlist: The Chilean Kitchen by Pilar Hernandez, published in October. 

#3 Posted : Friday, January 15, 2021 6:08:23 PM(UTC)

I just ordered Venetian Republic - my cousin is married to a Croatian who is an excellent cook. I'm looking forward to exploring this region's recipes.

#4 Posted : Saturday, January 16, 2021 2:57:35 PM(UTC)

How had I missed 2 x Darra Goldstein books? Her The Georgian Feast is one of my all time favourites, no pictures at least in my edition but a great intro to a wonderful cuisine. 


I've really enjoyed In Bibi's Kitchen - from the recipes to the food memories and inspirations of the bibis featured. It has had amazing pick-up; every second cook book club seems to have featured it or be about to. 


I discovered Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen last year (the homemade chorizo recipe alone justified the purchase) - though can see it was published in October 2019.

#5 Posted : Saturday, January 16, 2021 7:20:35 PM(UTC)

 Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen would have made my list last year.  I'm always interested in how cooks adjust to different geographic and cultural circumstances. Perhaps it reflects the Amish-Finnish potlucks of my childhood with a bit of Irish thrown in occassionally.

#6 Posted : Monday, January 18, 2021 6:55:54 PM(UTC)

I am enjoying Lemongrass and Lime as my cravings are in southeast Asia for the moment.  

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