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International Cookbooks to Refresh Your Table

A selection of the books talked about in this post over a photograph of a kitchen counter.

The arrival of spring brings a refreshing feeling of renewal, inspiring more than just a traditional spring cleaning. With new warmth and new life blooming outside, invite new and exciting dishes into your home during mealtimes with some of our favorite international cookbooks.

The Chilean Kitchen by Pilar Hernandez and Eileen Smith – 75 authentic Chilean recipes await you in this book, which the authors based around the Spanish phrase quédate un poquito or “stay a while.” Chile’s summer is in March, so why not make Clery (Chilean white sangria) to toast our own coming summer days? This title is also available on Hoopla.

My Korea by Hooni Kim – Kim is the first Michelin-starred chef in Korean cuisine and these 90 recipes invite you on a salty, sour, and spicy adventure. Try the chapter devoted entirely to kimchi!

Sababa by Adeena Sussman – Sussman’s title, derived from the Arabic word tzababa (“great” or “wonderful”), is fitting for this cookbook as well as your state of being after creating the dishes inside! Greet the spring sunlight with Sussman’s creamy green shakshuka with crispy latkes for an amazing breakfast. This title is also available on OverDrive.

At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey – Jaffrey is a noted Indian actress and food and travel writer, so you’ll find recipes from a variety of South Asian nations including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Add flavor to your movie nights with Jaffrey’s spicy popcorn recipe, which includes turmeric and cayenne pepper. This title is also available on OverDrive.

The Little Book of Fika by Lynda Balslev – An ideal companion to those of you who are dabbling in the Danish practice of Hygge, this book embraces the Swedish coffee break. Fika (pronounced fee-ka) typically involves coffee and sweet treats to be shared with loved ones. Make some elderflower cordial and serve with saffron buns (Lussebullar) when you have a quiet moment. This title is also available on Hoopla.

Mamushka by Olia Hercules – Hercules has listed over 100 recipes from the Ukraine and Eastern Europe in this cookbook. These recipes go against the stereotypical viewpoint of Ukraine as bleak and gray, showing the rich culture and delicious foods of the region. With the vivid color photography, you’ll be eager to create the rose petal jam. 

Pati’s Mexican Table by Pati Jinich – Jinich may already be familiar to you as she is the host of the PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table. Jinich’s childhood was based in Mexico City, so this book contains a wide variety of recipes for traditional Mexican home cooking. For some sweetness and smokiness at the dinner table, go with the sticky chicken with apricots, tamarind, and chipotle. This title is also available on Hoopla.

Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry – Terry, who served as the inaugural Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Franciso, has created this wonderful book of vegan recipes inspired by African, Afro-Caribbean, and Southern dishes. If you need something quick, easy, and refreshing, go for sautéed sugar snap peas with spring herbs. This title is also available on OverDrive.

We are happy to help you further in your dish creation endeavors! Tell us what you are looking for by filling out our My Next Read form and in about a week a librarian will send you a list of at least three suggestions.

Finally, don’t forget to join us on April 1 at 7 pm for our 2021 All Henrico Reads virtual event with Robin Sloan. We will be discussing his book Sourdough, which explores food, culture, and technology, sparked by the gift of a sourdough starter.

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