We all miss traveling right now. Or maybe some of you don’t and actually enjoy the slowed-down pace of life. In any case, I think there’s nothing nicer than traveling through food or by looking at cookbooks and recipes that represent beautiful places around the world. A hot, colourful plate of steaming and creamy Indian or Thai curry, bright orange slices of Swedish preserved salmon, or sweet blueberry Pierogi in a snow-white blanket of soured cream and sugar; all these dishes will make you feel as if you’re somewhere else. There are tons of travel cookbooks, and more are being published every year. I’m giving you a small selection of five cookbooks that make you travel or make you want to go places if your imagination isn’t sufficient.
1. Falastin – Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley
The ink is almost still drying in this wonderful recipe collection published only this summer. Sami, a Palestinian chef from London, and Tara, a recipe author from London, traveled through Palestine to put together a lovely mix of recipes from the region. However, Falastin isn’t only about recipes. It’s also about beautiful photographs and stories. Dishes that await you are, for example, green Shakshuka, warm Hummus with toasted bread and pine nuts, or baby gem lettuce with burnt aubergine yogurt, smoked cucumber, and shatta. This way, for some delicious Palestinian dishes!
2. The Nordic Cookbook – Magnus Nilsson
Magnus Nilsson is the former head chef at Fäviken, a Two-Michelin-Star restaurant in the North of Sweden. It was famous for foraged, very local and seasonal dishes that were incredibly creative, but still very traditional. The recipes in the Nordic Cookbook are all but complicated. Rather, they acknowledge the simplicity of Swedish and Nordic cooking. Creamed dill potatoes, Gravad Lax, rice pudding, herring, and plenty of pickled and preserved dishes are things you’ll find in the cookbook. The restaurant has been closed for over a year ago now, but the dishes make you feel like you’re in a lush green Nordic forest. Take a culinary trip to the Nordics!
3. Fresh from Poland – Michal Korkosz
Michal Korkosz, the author of this Polish inspired cookbook, is a very sympathetic looking young man with a big and friendly smile. When he was 19, he won the Saveur Blog Award for best food photography. In his book Michal tells us how to cook different traditional Polish dishes like Pierogi or Gołąbki, but also shows that Polish food is more than sausages and cabbage. His barley risotto or rye crumble with honeyed fruits looks incredibly delicious, too—fun and exciting recipes, some more straightforward and some more time intense. Get your food trip to Poland!
4. East – Meera Sodha
Born and raised in London by Ugandan Indian parents, Meera has published several cookbooks already and develops delicious, colourful recipes on a running basis. Her newest baby is East, a cookbook that features 120 vegetarian and vegan recipes ‘from Bangalore to Beijing’. Indian recipes, as in her other two cookbooks, still play a significant role, but the scope is widened to other dishes from around Asia. The tomato, pistachio, and saffron tart sound irresistible, as do the Kimchi pancakes with spinach salad, the salted Miso brownies, or the Swede laksa. Let’s go there!
5. Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings – Anja Dunk
Anja has the most cosy kitchen one can imagine. She was born and raised in Wales but spent parts of her life in Germany. That’s where her Omi, of whom she speaks a lot in her cookbook, taught her some traditional dishes. The book is a collection of mouthwatering recipes that I would describe as comfort food. Knödel, Apple Strudel, Strammer Max, Christmas cookies, and other dishes make you feel as if you’re in the kitchen of a German Granny. Most recipes are simple and quick to prepare, such as the weekday whole baked trout stuffed with herbs and citrus fruit. To Germany this way, please!