Travel

From France to the Baltic: the best new cookbooks

From France's legendary cuisine to Himalayan tea, these are the latest cookbooks to catch our eye.Tuesday, 6 August 2019

By Heather Taylor
Our favourite new cookbooks

Our pick
Baltic, Simon Bajada

Unearth the gastronomic treasures of northeastern Europe in the latest book by Simon Bajada, an Australian-born, Sweden-based photographer and food stylist. “There’s no personal backstory to this book” he writes. Rather, it’s inspired by his enthusiasm for the cuisines and landscapes of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Local ingredients and traditional techniques are at the heart of recipes such as spring vegetables cooked in a milky soup; curd cheese baked in spiced doughnuts; and beer-cured salmon with buckwheat and poppy seed pancakes. The ‘garden’ chapter nods to the rural Baltic tradition for homegrown produce, which Bajada discovered during his travels around the region. There were berries, potatoes and cucumbers sprouting in the tiniest of backyards, and locals foraged for herbs and mushrooms. Simple dishes — preserved cucumbers flecked with dill, or rye pastry-crusted pies filled with carrots, sour cream and caraway — demonstrate a respect for these native ingredients. Breads and desserts (such as crumbly spelt and cardamom cookies) show the impressive diversity of Baltic baking. Bajada has clearly fallen for the dishes of these countries — and you should, too. £25, Hardie Grant

If you're after the flavours of France...
One More Croissant for the Road, Felicity Cloake
Part-travelogue, part-memoir, this book was written during a 1,430-mile cycle tour punctuated by bubbling cassoulet, creamy tartiflette and, of course, croissants. Read it for fresh information on these classic dishes, a guide to Cloake’s favourite foodie spots in France and simply to share in the unabashed joy of a good meal eaten after a long ride. £14.99, Mudlark

If you're after a touch of Southern comfort...
Cucina Siciliana, Ursula Ferrigno

Learn how to whip up an authentic taste of the Med at home. Summer supper ideas abound, including stuffed sardines, light salads laden with citrus and dishes such as pasta picchi pacchi (spaghetti with tomato and almond sauce). Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat, too, with recipes for pistachio gelato, cassata (a fruity, layered sponge), and ricotta-filled cannoli. £16.99, Ryland Peters & Small

If you're after a new morning menu...
Breakfast, Emily Elyse Miller

This comprehensive cookbook by New York-based food writer Miller charts the myriad ways in which the most important meal of the day is eaten around the world. From Mexican-style huevos rancheros and Jamaican green banana porridge to Scandi cardamom buns and the classic full English, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your next brunch. £35, Phaidon

If you're after a better brew...
Infused, Henrietta Lovell

Expect to ditch the bags in favour of loose-leaf teas after reading this fascinating book by the founder of the Rare Tea Company. It covers Lovell’s travels across the globe, from Malawi to the Himalayas, as she meets growers, chefs and producers. Look out for profiles, recipes and evocative travel writing in Lovell’s signature witty style. £20, Faber & Faber

Printed in the September issue of National Geographic Traveller Food. 

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