What is your favorite part about travel? For many of us it is experiencing the delicious cuisine of other cultures. While you may not be able to travel at the moment, you can still dive into the marvelous world of international food with these 10 travel reads for food lovers.
- Cooking with Fernet Branca. James Hamilton Paterson takes readers through the Italian countryside with picturesque descriptions of quaint towns and deliciously odd recipes like garlic and Fernet Branca ice cream.
- The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats. Daniel Stone traces the path of 19th-century botanist David Fairchild finding beloved plant varietals for American farmers from peaches to cashews.
- Dirt. Author Bill Buford tells the story of how he befriended chef Michel Richard and learned the secrets of great food studying at a cooking school in Lyon.
- Like Water for Chocolate. This Laura Esquivel novel is set at the turn of the 20th century and tells the story of a rancher’s daughter with kitchen skills but no luck at love. As an added bonus, each chapter starts with a traditional Mexican recipe.
- The Spice Necklace: A Food-Lover’s Caribbean Adventure. This book by Anne Vanderhoof tells the story of a couple sailing around the Caribbean and discovering delicious local recipes along the way including chilled curried pumpkin soup and coconut-custard tarts.
- Bon Appetit: Travels with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew through France. This is Peter Mayle’s most food-focused book and details his newfound love for classic French cooking after a childhood of British cooking.
- Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex, and Nigerian Taste Buds. In this dive into Nigerian cuisine, Yemisi Aribisala pairs vivid essays with local recipes for a well-rounded look into the country’s culture and history.
- Sharks Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China. Fuchsia Dunlop immerses herself into Chinese cooking, including an exploration of some of the country’s more eccentric dishes.
- The Man Who Ate Everything. Jeffrey Steingarten’s international food adventure is humorous and expansive and even details the diet he adopted after his epicurean indulgences.
- Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine. Last but not least, chef Edward Lee turns travel writer as he explores hidden corners of the United States to discover the culinary roots that connect us all.
A couple weeks ago we talked about travel books for the isolated traveler. Pick up one of these culinary-focused reads to fill some of your quarantine hours and satisfy your wanderlust.