The world has opened back up for the most part, but travel prices have gone through the roof. Food is at the heart of a culture, so if you want to try some new recipes and learn about new cultures through food, now is the time! Listed below are cuisines of ten different countries and a cookbook to go with each. Check out all of these cookbooks and more here at DiscoverBooks.com. Perfect opportunity to learn more about different cultures and people while sitting around your table.
Originally influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine often consists of many pickled vegetables, grilled or raw fish, tempura (a lightly fried batter used on meat or vegetables), and noodles, amongst other foods. Explore more of the Japanese culture through recipes in Laure Kie and Haruna Kishi’s Japanese Cuisine: An Illustrated Guide. This book will guide you through not only traditional Japanese recipes but also provides illustrations on things like how to use chopsticks or how to order properly at a Japanese restaurant.
Because of India’s various religions and cultures, each region has a slightly different take on Indian cuisine. Hindus typically cook vegetarian meals, while Muslims usually incorporate meat dishes into their diet. Essential to Indian cuisine is rice, whole wheat flour, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, curry powder, chilly powder, and many other foods and spices. By following the recipes presented in Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen, Meera Sodha introduces you to some of the meals she grew up eating in her Indian household. These recipes are quick and simple to make and packed with flavor.
Mexican cuisine was originally influenced by Mesoamerican cuisine, as well as Spanish and French, and it has evolved throughout the years to form the delicious food we know today. Traditional Mexican dishes usually incorporate staples like corn, beans, chili peppers, tortilla wraps, meat, rice, and spices. Check out Best of Mexican Cooking: 75 Authentic Home-Style Recipes for Beginners by Adriana Martin to dive more into the Mexican culture by sampling up to 75 Mexican recipes and learning more about where each dish originated from.
Because Spain is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, seafood dishes are common in Spanish culture. Spain is well known for its wine, olives and olive oil, Iberico ham, seafood dishes, and tapas (small dishes). The discovery of the new world in 1492 introduced many new ingredients, like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cocoa, and wheat, to Spanish cooking. Discover more about Spanish cuisine in 1,000 Spanish Recipes, where author Penelope Casas, an expert on Spanish cuisine, takes readers on a culinary tour of Spain.
Traditional Greek cuisine is based on many of the foods organically grown in Greece, including cheese, oil, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables. They also grow many olive and lemon trees, which are essential to Greek cooking. Along with fish and seafood, lamb and goat are traditionally incorporated into Greek dishes. Learn more about Greek culture and traditional dishes in My Big Fat Greek Cookbook: Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes. This cookbook is written by Christos Sourligas, the son of a Greek immigrant. This book takes the reader through 65 recipes and shares photographs, memories, and tales of Greek history.
Being the largest country in South America, many regions with different cultures and traditions make up Brazilian cuisine. Brazil was settled by the Portuguese and still uses many of the foods and cooking styles they brought with them, like the use of oranges and other citrus fruits to make sweets and juices.
Many traditional Brazilian dishes contain the main ingredients, including rice, black beans, and manioc. To gain more knowledge of the culture and food of Brazil, read Travel to Brazil: The Cookbook – Recipes from Throughout the Country, and the Stories of the People Behind Them where author Polyana de Oliveira shares classic recipes as well as her personal stories of growing up as a Brazilian immigrant in the United States.
Thailand is another large country, with four diverse regions each having their unique cooking styles. This includes the northern region, where sticky rice is used for many recipes, and there is a heavy influence from Burma. Next is the northeastern region of Thailand, where it is traditional to cook with lots of spices, meats, and freshwater fish. In the central region, jasmine rice and complex cooking techniques are common. Lastly, in the southern region, there is a heavy use of coconut, cashew, and seafood. Explore more about the Thai culture and cuisine in Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home, a cookbook written by Pailin Chongchitnant, an educated chef that grew up in Thailand.
Because of the subtropical climate of Cuba, Cuban food incorporates many root vegetables and tropical fruits. Other staple foods in this culture include rice and seafood. Cuban cuisine is heavily influenced by Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Chinese cuisines. After the Cuban revolution of 1961 and Cuba was cut off from its imports, new foods were introduced to the Cuban diet, like wheat, pasta, pizza, and yogurt. Chicken and fish became more common than pork. To engage more in the Cuban culture and recipes, read The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History where author Ana Sofia Pelaez shares over 100 authentic Cuban recipes.
The cuisine of Israel is based on many Jewish recipes and a Kosher eating style (separating meat and dairy products). Many typical Israeli foods originate from other countries in the Middle East, like falafel and Israeli salad (cucumbers and tomatoes). Common foods in Israel include olives, chickpeas, wheat, and yogurt. To explore more about Israeli culture, food, and traditions, check out Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen: A Cookbook by Adeena Sussman.
Italian cuisine was greatly influenced by The Renaissance when many different ingredients and spices were imported to Italy. Along with the introduction of the tomato by the Spanish, other new foods introduced to Italy included zucchini, peppers, squash, beans, corn, and chocolate. To try out new Italian recipes and dishes, read The Complete Italian Cookbook: 200 Classic and Contemporary Italian Dishes Made for the Modern Kitchen by The Coastal Kitchen.
We hope you enjoyed our quick trip around the globe. No, we didn’t hit every country and explore their foods, but we hope you will. Start a tradition of testing different foods from around the world, find the country on a globe (or internet), watch a travel show or better yet, grab a travel guide from our website, read a book set in the country, and watch a movie from the country or set in the country. The more we learn about different cultures, people, ideas the more emotionally intelligent we become. If you spent one month “exploring” a country thoroughly – maybe learn some key phrases too – at the end of the year you’d have 12 new cultures researched. Inviting friends and family to join you would make it that much more interesting. Find everything you need at Discoverbooks.com at discounted prices making “your trip around the world” affordable. Happy travel reading!
Interested in learning about famous chefs? Check out our other article, Discover Books on Famous Chefs: August Book Chain.