kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Best Cookbooks Of 2014 Offer Tastes And Tales From Around The Globe

Andrea Nguyen's <em>Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches</em> is the perfect gift for your friend who has an app tracing the routes of half a dozen food trucks on her phone.
Ten Speed Press
Andrea Nguyen's Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is the perfect gift for your friend who has an app tracing the routes of half a dozen food trucks on her phone.

2014 was a year for faraway cuisines to take up residence in U.S. kitchens — cookbook authors cast their nets for flavors from Paris, the Middle East and Southeast Asia; from the ancient spice routes and every point in between.

Meanwhile, the food world's leaders struck out in unconventional directions, and some of the year's most interesting books stray far from the glossy, aspirational approach we've come to expect from the big names. A food editor who claims she's "not a great cook" goes to chefs for advice, while another starts a farm. One chef raids the pantry for its most common ingredients, while another swoons for mushrooms alone. And apples, glorious in their variety, spill from between the covers of a cookbook with hardly any recipes at all.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

T. Susan Chang regularly writes about food and reviews cookbooks for The Boston Globe,NPR.org and the Washington Post. She's the author of A Spoonful of Promises: Recipes and Stories From a Well-Tempered Table (2011). She lives in western Massachusetts, where she also teaches food writing at Bay Path College and Smith College. She blogs at Cookbooks for Dinner.