Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cookbook Cravings

I'm definitely a cookbook fanatic. When I have my own house I plan on dedicating a ton of shelf space to cookbooks, so I'm trying to build my collection now. I've been keeping a running list of cookbooks I see that I want so that way when people need Christmas ideas I actually have an answer other than "uhh I can't think of anything that I need" because that's the worst response to hear when you really have no idea what to get someone.

I'm dying for Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. I love mediterranean food and Ottolenghi has a mediterranean background that is shown through the ingredients that he uses. He has four London restaurants and a newspaper column that is fab. This cookbook has 120 vegetarian recipes that all look so amazing and the photography in this book is phenomenal.

So many have a preconceived notion that British food is awful. Yes, British food isn't as popular in America as Italian, but they do have their own culinary flavors and cooking methods- they don't just eat dirt. When I was telling people that I decided to study abroad in January and I was going to London one of the first things people said was "what are you going to eat?" This surprised me because I never really thought about it, but the next comment made was always "British food is disgusting." Have you eaten it? How can you say British food is disgusting when you've never experienced it?
Jamie Oliver was born in England and grew up there, too, in Essex. His parents, Sally and Trevor, have a gastropub called The Cricketers in Clavering that they still run today after over 30 years of business. Oliver went to Westminster Catering College and completed his culinary training there. Growing up in his parents' restaurant is what caused Oliver to love food and British cooking, so he captured the heart and soul of real British cooking in his book Jamie Oliver's Great Britain.
The new culinary trend in England is to bring back old methods of preparing food, digging up old recipes and making them popular again, and using ingredients that were once staples in British cooking. The traditions and culture of the country are prominent in this cookbook, but Oliver also celebrates newer British food (including British immigrant food) and it's definitely a book that will add variety to your cookbook collection; use one of the recipes that Oliver provides at a gathering and people will love it! Then they can finally stop asking you "what will you even eat in England?"

This cookbook, The Little Parish Kitchen,  is filled with 120 recipes for simple, classic, delicious French dishes that range from appetizers to desserts. Rachel Khoo was born in England, but moved to Paris and fell in love with it. This is another cookbook that will help you add variety to your life instead of using your common go-to party and dinner dishes. It's also a great gift!


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