Spring ushers in far more than new adventures. There’s also a bounty of evocative cookbooks and food-driven non-fiction to set the stage for your next culinary journey.
There are travel books and there are cookbooks, but if the bevy of new book releases this spring are any indication, the genres can coexist. Gathering together and cooking serve as anchors in the eight titles below, which reveal how food can be the most evocative lens through which to understand a culture.
From the open-air markets of Indian, African, and Chinese neighborhoods in Paris to the 19th-century expeditions that shaped the American palate, these stories will transport you as much as they will whet your appetite.
Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini—a mother and daughter from the United States who have run a cooking school in Beaune, France, for 10 years—fill their debut book with 100 recipes, plus stories about Burgundy’s winemakers and farmers.
In a love letter to his hometown, acclaimed chef Nuno Mendes celebrates Lisbon’s thriving epicurean revival with personal essays and recipes blending centuries-old rituals and modern flavors.
The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats
Journalist Daniel Stone documents how David Fairchild’s agricultural explorations in the 19th and 20th centuries (introducing such crops as kale, soybeans, dates, hops, and Hass avocados) forever changed a nation’s palate.
Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel
New Orleans–based chef Alon Shaya catalogs his culinary memories, which take him from his native Israel to the U.S. South, along with the recipes, people, and places that shaped his life.
A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home
After living in the Floating City for 25 years, food blogger and Instagram star Skye McAlpine shares her knowledge of Venetian food traditions in this photo-heavy collection of her favorite dishes and the stories behind them.
Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local
Armenian boyreks (pastries filled with pastrami and feta) and classic French onion soup are just two of the dishes you’ll learn to make as you follow Clotilde Dusoulier through the restaurants, open-air markets, and specialty shops that embody the city’s multicultural influences.
Fisherman’s Blues: A West African Community at Sea
Immersing herself in the traditional Senegalese fishing village of Joal, reporter Anna Badkhen reveals how a community that shares a history and a livelihood deals with a world being reshaped by overfishing and climate change.
River Cafe London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant
London founder Ruth Rogers introduced locals to Italian food made with high-quality ingredients. Her memories of the legendary restaurant share pages with recipes for the dishes—such as ricotta ravioli—that came to define it.
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