Anthology

Essential cookbooks for gourmets

We love that you leave home to discover the best restaurants. Our passion is to tempt you with gastronomy! But many, in addition to “external” gourmets, we are kitchenettes in our homes. Cooking at home is not only beneficial for our daily diet, because it allows us to eat better and healthier. To prepare impeccable dishes and desserts of different styles, we are going to recommend ten cookbooks for gourmets. We know them, we give faith, because we have them and we have consulted them. And they don’t disappoint. As always, there are classic and modern recipes, but all of them will allow you to look like a chef!

1080 recipes: This is an absolute must for Simone Ortega in the bookshop of any kitchen enthusiast. Reedited to satiety (and updated by the author’s daughter, Inés Ortega), it was first published in 1972 and is probably the most influential in Spain in this field. In addition to healthy and fairly inexpensive recipes, there are proposals for menus and a calendar of seasonal products. As far as we know, the only defect of the book is that it does not include photos (we are children of the audiovisual as good millennials). In its day, influential bloggers started the project 1080 kitchen photographs to illustrate it, but currently the web is deactivated. A pity.

El Comidista’s pop cuisine: We are recalcitrant admirers of Mikel López Iturriaga and his team, who have managed to make El Comidista the most mediatic cooking blog (they even had their own television programme, from which we are looking forward to more deliveries). The Comidista has several recipes published, although we are especially attached to this one, the second one. Perhaps because of the references to music, cinema,… in short, to pop culture, which make it a most original book. Its culinary proposal is healthy, light and quite simple to make. It also includes recipes from guest authors such as Elvira Lindo and references to sections of his blog such as the wonderful office Aló, Comidista, whose monthly reading we recommend you from now on. Yes, there are those who are more clumsy than you.

Hummingbird pastry recipes: We discovered this book before getting to know the famous London pastry shop, founded by Tarek Malouf. This successful businessman turned his life around when he left his job at ABC News and opened a bakery specializing in American desserts and cakes. It has several branches in the British capital and around the world, and several books. We love this one because it brings together the greatest hits (you won’t find a more juicy lemon bread). It has quite a few cupcake recipes (we’re not enthusiastic about them, although they’re quite original recipes, it has to be said), and a lot of absolutely wonderful cakes, tarts and biscuits. She’s a sweet tooth and a cookbook addict.

Manual de cocina: Apart from its political implications, this is probably the most famous cookbook in Spain, with which many generations of women (and some men, of course) learned to cook. The first edition, in 1950, was prologued by Pilar Primo de Rivera, founder of the Women’s Section, a Francoist institution of the Phalanx that promoted instruction in the domestic and patriotic affairs of women. Without entering into the ideological background, the book has many traditional recipes, mainly structured by menus in which the season is taken into account. They are, in general, economic and tasty dishes. The tone is direct and, in general, they are simple dishes and, perhaps, a little more forceful than our dietetic way of life advises us. But this cookery book, which we find in different publishers, is essential.

The Art of French Cooking: Although Californian, Julia Child was one of the great culinary communicators in the world and the media, and this wonderful book of hers is a bible of French cooking (although many French people may find it hard to believe that an American is a prophet of her universal recipe book). By the way, this woman’s life is not wasted. After an exciting career as a researcher in Secret Intelligence during World War II, she married the gourmet Paul Cushing Child (who also worked at the OSS) and moved to Paris. She had an authentic culinary revelation in the country and trained at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu academy. In 1961 she published The Art of French Cooking, an authentic and revolutionary bestseller that will dazzle professional chefs, hobbyists and mid-level chefs. There are some complex recipes, but others are perfectly accessible and everything is very well explained.

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