Fiction set in USA and EUROPE: the life of Maria Callas
Mouth-watering books about food set around the world
22nd April 2021
Mouth-watering books about food set around the world.
Here at TripFiction our database of thousands of books can be accessed by searching for a location, a title or an author…or by literary genre.
One of our more popular genres is gastro books, stories with food at their heart. Perhaps this is no surprise, considering how TV programmes, recipe books and nutritional awareness have embedded food culture deeper in our souls than ever before. Here are five gastro-based books set around the world, to get those literary taste buds salivating…..
Bread and Oil: Majorcan Culture’s Last Stand by Tomas Graves – MAJORCA
On the island of Mallorca pa amb oli (bread and oil) is rubbed with garlic or tomatoes and salt, as it is in many other Mediterranean countries. Graves starts with this simple dish as a starting point to explore more cooking, traditions, agriculture, and historical influences that trace the dish back to Roman Times.
This dish symbolises for the people of Mallorca their traditional roots and celebrates the resourceful nature, despite becoming a popular tourist destination and all the pressures that entails..
Fragrant Heart by Miranda Emmerson – SOUTH EAST ASIA
We buy food we can point to. We stalk the streets until rush hour and wait for the little hatches to open in the sides of restaurants. From the steamy openings, cooks in overalls sell jiaozi (dumplings) and bowls of thick, sticky, white congee – an unholy cross between soup and porridge. Baozi, steamed white buns, are light as air. I buy them filled with water spinach and nettle – delicious dipped in sharp, black Chinese vinegar.
In 2008, Miranda and her partner set off for one last big adventure before settling down. They chose to travel through South-East Asia. All did not go to plan: Asian flu, falling off boats and the general chaos of a life abroad challenged them at every step, and yet, in the midst of it all, they fell in love with the culture and culinary delights of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Summers Under the Tamarind Tree by Sumayya Usmani – PAKISTAN
Summers Under the Tamarind Tree is a contemporary Pakistani cookbook celebrating the varied, exciting and often-overlooked cuisine of a beautiful country.
Former lawyer-turned-food writer and cookery teacher Sumayya Usmani captures the rich and aromatic pleasure of Pakistani cooking through more than 100 recipes as she celebrates the heritage and traditions of her home country and looks back on a happy childhood spent in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother.
While remaining uniquely its own, Pakistani food is influenced by some of the world’s greatest cuisines. With a rich coastline, it enjoys spiced seafood and amazing fish dishes; while its borders with Iran, Afghanistan, India and China ensure strong Arabic, Persian and varied Asian flavours.
Experience the wonderful flavours of Pakistan with:
– Aloo ki bhujia (spicy potatoes with nigella seeds and fenugreek)
– Hyderabadi-style samosas, filled with red onion, mint and green chilli
– Sweet potato and squash parathas
– Attock chapli kebab (mince beef flat kebab with pomegranate chutney)
– Cardamom and coconut mattha lassi
– and many more sensational recipes.
Learn to cook some of the rich, varied and delicious Pakistani dishes with this beautiful showcase of the exotic yet achievable recipes of Pakistan.
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl – United States (USA)
At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that ‘food could be a way of making sense of the world. If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.’
Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people and the love of tales well told.
Beginning with Reichl’s mother, the notorious food poisoner known as the Queen of the Mould, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s.
Spiced with Reichl’s infectious humour and sprinkled with her favourite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist’s coming-of-age.
The Restaurant: A History of Eating Out by William Sitwell – WORLD
The fascinating story of how we have gone out to eat, from the ancient Romans in Pompeii to the luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants of today.
Tracing its earliest incarnations in the city of Pompeii, where Sitwell is stunned by the sophistication of the dining scene, this is a romp through history as we meet the characters and discover the events that shape the way we eat today. Sitwell, restaurant critic for the Daily Telegraph and famous for his acerbic criticisms on the hit BBC show MasterChef, tackles this enormous subject with his typical wit and precision. He spies influences from an ancient traveller of the Muslim world, revels in the unintended consequences for nascent fine dining of the French Revolution, reveals in full hideous glory the post-Second World War dining scene in the UK and fathoms the birth of sensitive gastronomy in the US counterculture of the 1960s.
This is a story of the ingenuity of the human race as individuals endeavour to do that most fundamental of things: to feed people. It is a story of art, politics, revolution, desperate need and decadent pleasure. Sitwell, a familiar face in the UK and a figure known for the controversy he attracts, provides anyone who loves to dine out, or who loves history, or who simply loves a good read with an accessible and humorous history. The Restaurant is jam-packed with extraordinary facts; a book to read eagerly from start to finish or to spend glorious moments dipping in to.
It may be William Sitwell’s History of Eating Out, but it’s also the definitive story of one of the cornerstones of our culture.
Andrew for the TripFiction team
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