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10 Food Books to Look For in September

By on September 2, 2013 11:30am EST

Each month, we’re going to take a moment to tell you about some of the great food-related reads that are hitting the shelves,  from cookbooks to kitchen confessions to foodie fiction. There will be a little something for everyone.  Go on, have a taste. 

September 3 

Eat Drink Vote Marion NestleEat Drink Vote by Marion Nestle (Rodale Books)

What’s wrong with the US food system? Why is half the world starving while the other half battles obesity? Who decides our food issues, and why can’t we do better with labeling, safety, or school food? These are complex questions that are hard to answer in an engaging way for a broad audience. But everybody eats, and food politics affects us all. Marion Nestle has always used cartoons in her public presentations to communicate how politics—shaped by government, corporate marketing, economics, and geography—influences food choice. Cartoons do more than entertain; the best get right to the core of complicated concepts and powerfully convey what might otherwise take pages to explain. In Eat, Drink, Vote, Nestle teams up with The Cartoonist Group syndicate to present more than 250 of her favorite cartoons on issues ranging from dietary advice to genetic engineering to childhood obesity. Using the cartoons as illustration and commentary, she engagingly summarizes some of today’s most pressing issues in food politics. While encouraging readers to vote with their forks for healthier diets, this book insists that it’s also necessary to vote with votes to make it easier for everyone to make healthier dietary choices.

The Artisan Jewish Deli at HomeThe Artisan Jewish Deli at Home by Nick Zukin, Michael Zusman 

If you don’t happen to live near one of the new wave of artisan-style Jewish delis that have sprung up around North America over the last few years, not to worry. With this book, the world of Jewish deli, in all its unsubtle splendor—can be yours in the comfort (and privacy) of your own kitchen. And it’s not that hard. Really. On top of all the Jewish deli classics, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home offers updates and new angles on the oldways that are bound to thrill the palates of a modern generation of eaters focused on quality ingredients and a lighter-handed approach to a traditionally heavy cuisine.

 

Ottolenghi Yotam Ottolenghi Sami Tamimi CoverOttolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press)

Yotam Ottolenghi’s four eponymous restaurants-each a patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery rolled into one-are among London’s most popular culinary destinations. Now readers who can’t travel to one of the pristine food shops can recreate its famous dishes at home with recipes like Harissa-Marinated Chicken with Red Grapefruit Salad and Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt. The recipes reflect the authors’ upbringings in Jerusalem yet also incorporate culinary traditions from California, Italy, and North Africa, among others. Featuring abundant produce and numerous fish and meat dishes, as well as Ottolenghi’s famed cakes and breads, Ottolenghi invites readers into a world of inventive flavors and fresh, vibrant cooking.

September 10 

Apples Amy Pennington CoverApples by Amy Pennington (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Celebrate the variety of apples from the orchard to the kitchen with recipes for both sweet and savory dishes. Apples: From Harvest to Table is a wonderful collection of over 50 seasonal, easy-to-follow recipes for all kinds of delicious apple-based treats. The recipes run the spectrum from breakfast and brunch, salads, starters and mains, to pies, crumbles and cakes, and relishes and chutneys.

In addition to the recipes, there is information on apple varieties, both heirloom and modern, apple lore and history, and even some fun family-friendly activities and recipes to make with the kids. A handy illustrated chart organizes the apple varieties so it’s easy to choose which is the right one for any recipe you make. With full-color photographs and charming botanical illustrations throughout, this beautiful book is both entertaining to read and practical to follow. So whether you are new to cooking with apples or a seasoned pro, it is sure to be a sweet and savory addition to your cookbook shelf.

September 17

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking Anya Von CoverMastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen (Crown)

Proust had his madeleine; Narnia’s Edmund had his Turkish delight. Anya von Bremzen has vobla-rock-hard, salt-cured dried Caspian roach fish. Lovers of vobla risk breaking a tooth or puncturing a gum on the once-popular snack, but for Anya it’s transporting. Like kotleti (Soviet burgers) or the festive Salat Olivier, it summons up the complex, bittersweet flavors of life in that vanished Atlantis called the USSR. Anya lives in two parallel food universes: one in which she writes about four-star restaurants, the other in which a simple banana-a once a year treat back in the USSR-still holds an almost talismanic sway over her psyche. To make sense of that past, she and her mother decided to eat and cook their way through seven decades of the Soviet experience. Through the meals she and her mother re-create, Anya tells the story of three generations-her grandparents’, her mother’s, and her own. Her family’s stories are embedded in a larger historical epic: of Lenin’s bloody grain requisitioning, World War II hunger and survival, Stalin’s table manners, Khrushchev’s kitchen debates, Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol policies, and the ultimate collapse of the USSR. And all of it is bound together by Anya’s sardonic wit, passionate nostalgia, and piercing observations.

The Heart of the Plate Mollie Katzen CoverThe Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

With The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen changed the way a generation cooked and brought vegetarian cuisine into the mainstream. In The Heart of the Plate, she completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes – her “absolutely most loved.” Her new cuisine is light, sharp, simple, and modular; her inimitable voice is as personal, helpful, clear, and funny as ever. Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables. They feature layered dishes that juxtapose colors and textures: orange rice with black beans, or tiny buttermilk corn cakes on a Peruvian potato stew. Suppers from the oven, like vegetable pizza and mushroom popover pie, are comforting but never stodgy. Burgers and savory pancakes – from eggplant Parmesan burgers to zucchini ricotta cloud cakes – make weeknight dinners fresh and exciting. “Optional Enhancements” allow cooks to customize every recipe. The Heart of the Plate is vibrantly illustrated with photographs and original watercolors by the author herself.

September 24

Mastering Art of French Eating Ann Mah CoverMastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah (Pamela Dorman Books)

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Cooking Slow Andrew Schloss CoverCooking Slow by Andrew Schloss (Chronicle Books)

This tantalizing book celebrates the art of cooking slowly with time-honored methods that yield tender, delicious meals with little hands-on cooking time. More than 80 recipes cover everything from slow-simmered soups and stews to hearty braised meats and a lemon cheesecake that cures to a creamy custard in a warm oven overnight. A chapter devoted to the sous vide technique will tempt the technophiles, while the slow-grilling section is a revelation for those who man the grill every weekend. Brought to life with 36 enticing photographs by award-winning photographer Alan Benson, this valuable package sells the dream of cooking and living well and is a must-have for dedicated home cooks.

Eating Asian American Food Studies Reader CoverEating Asian American by Robert Ji-Song Ku, Martin F. Manalansan, and Anita Mannur (NYU Press)

Chop suey. Sushi. Curry. Adobo. Kimchi. The deep associations Asians in the United States have with food have become ingrained in the American popular imagination. So much so that contentious notions of ethnic authenticity and authority are marked by and argued around images and ideas of food.

Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader collects burgeoning new scholarship in Asian American Studies that centers the study of foodways and culinary practices in our understanding of the racialized underpinnings of Asian Americanness. It does so by bringing together twenty scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum to inaugurate a new turn in food studies: the refusal to yield to a superficial multiculturalism that naively celebrates difference and reconciliation through the pleasures of food and eating. By focusing on multi-sited struggles across various spaces and times, the contributors to this anthology bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in the production of Asian American culinary and alimentary practices, ideas, and images. This is the first collection to consider the fraught itineraries of Asian American immigrant histories and how they are inscribed in the production and dissemination of ideas about Asian American foodways.

Pieminister Tristan Hogg Jon Simon CoverPieminister by Tristan Hogg, Jon Simon (Bantam Press)

Everyone loves a pie. Pies are part of our food culture and heritage, as British as…pork pie. Pieminister-the creation of Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon-have led the way in reinventing this great British classic for a new generation of food lovers. With their brilliantly creative and delicious recipes making the likes of their Heidi Pie, Pietanic and Moo Pie into household names, pieminister have brought free-range, luscious and locally sourced baking to the country’s top delis, food halls and high streets.

Pieminister pies are more than a comforting plate-full for the winter months. Throughout the year Tristan and Jon search out the best fresh, natural ingredients, creating an ever-changing, wonderfully varied menu. And in pieminister-a pie for all seasons you will find recipes that are filled with seasonal ingredients, great for spring suppers, summer parties and autumn lunches. Small pies, big pies, breakfast pies, fruit pies, family pies and pies that make you go oooooh! Fantastic ingredients and the best pastry you’ve ever tasted. Into the oven, be patient and then enjoy. Live and eat pie!
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Cassandra Neace

Cassandra Neace is a freelance writer living in Houston, Texas, and a contributing editor for Book Riot. She can often be found with a book in one hand and a craft cocktail in the other. Follow her on Twitter: @CassandraNeace

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  • Kate K. F.

    I read an ARC of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking and its a wonderful read. That perfect combination of a memoir and a food book. I highly recommend it and there are recipes in the back.

  • S. Zainab Williams

    Extremely interested in Eating Asian American…

  • Monique Flasch

    Great list! Looking forward to several of these titles!

  • Wini Moranville

    I read Ann Mah’s book and absolutely loved it! A must for anyone who loves France and French food.