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If you could only have 5 cookbooks.....

Here are my choices:

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and Simone Beck

Review: Certainly the quintessential French cookbook for English speaking cooks. Thorough and detailed. If it's not in here, then the French probably don't or won't make it.

The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

Review: Probably the best all around cookbook which basically tells you how to cook anything. The original and still the best.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cookery by Marcella Hazan

Review: When I want to go to the source, no one is better regarding Italian cooking than Marcella Hazan. This combines her first two books into one. The definitive work.

Arabesque by Claudia Roden

Review: This might seem a odd choice, as it is focused on the cuisines of Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey, but I adore this book. Claudia Roden is a genius and having read her other books, "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" and the classic "The Book Jewish Cooking", she is the real deal.

An Invitation to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

Review: This is the one if you love Indian food. A classic since it was first published. Madhur takes the complexities of Indian cooking and makes it easy. Cook your way through this book and you will be quite knowledgeable on the main dishes and style of Northern Indian regional cooking.

Hint: Many if not all of these cookbooks can be found used for a fraction of their current price, and in some cases the recipes are more authentic and haven't been edited and adjusted. Not that this always an issue, but sometimes they change the recipe to suit  a perceived change in taste, so less oil, less butter etc. I like it in the original and then I can adjust to make it lighter if that's my desire.

Good Sources for Used Cookbooks:


Smice Family said…
We have 3 of the five - not being a "cook" I do refer to the Joy of Cooking often! This also remided me to ask Bill to cook some Indian food :)

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