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2022.06.07 七本必备的烹饪书

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Economist Reads | Cooking
Our food columnist selects the seven essential cookbooks
A tasteful tour around the cuisines of the world
Unspecified - 1979: Julia Child cooking with chefs. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Jun 7th 2022 (Updated Jun 22nd 2022) | NEW YORK


This article is part of our Summer reads series. Visit our collection to discover “The Economist reads” guides, guest essays and more seasonal distractions.

What’s a cookbook for these days? Not just recipes: those are available online, in multiple versions, inevitably introduced by screens full of faux-chipper stories and browser-crashing pop-up ads. And not technique: again, anyone who wants to know how to clean a squid or spatchcock a chicken can head to YouTube. But while a single recipe or video may inform, neither can really tell a story of a person, place or cuisine. Any cookbook is only “a” story, not “the” story. Cuisines change; they bleed into each other; and they vary with each person who steps up to a stove and a chopping block. An instructional video or online recipe rarely delights, or bears revisiting just for pleasure. A good cookbook should do both. Here are the seven that most deserve a place on your shelf.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II (1961 and 1970). By Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Knopf; 1472 pages; $110 and £50

Are there better books about regional French cooking? Of course. Do some of Child’s recipes use ungodly amounts of butter and cream, and do some seem more museum pieces than artefacts of a living cuisine? Yes and yes. Even so, there is no better and more accessible introduction to serious, foundational French food and cooking techniques. Getting to grips with these recipes is an excellent way to build kitchen confidence. Child (pictured above) was not merely the first celebrity television chef; she was also an outstanding writer. Her recipes are clear, precise and authoritative. Unlike her French predecessors, she is an outstanding demystifier of kitchen technique, and can turn the most complex French dessert or sauce into a series of easily comprehensible steps.

More Summer reads
• Our Bartleby columnist explains how to avoid the most overused words in business
• What’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history, writes Yuval Noah Harari
• The pandemic has given economists a new lease of life
• Flashman, Victorian England’s foremost rotter, would have made a great journalist
•Six guides to biology as seen at different scales

The Silver Spoon (2005). By The Silver Spoon Kitchen. Phaidon Press; 1505 pages; $49.95 and £39.95

If you’re used to red-sauce cooking and think Italian food begins with spaghetti, progresses to pizza and ends at lasagna, then this book, initially published by a Milanese architecture and design magazine in 1950, will surprise you with its breadth, and relative paucity of tomatoes. But there’s a reason it is a mainstay of Italian homes and probably the country’s bestselling cookbook. It does for Italian home cooking what Child’s does for French cuisine: provides a thorough introduction (nearly two dozen risotto recipes can be found in its pages, which number well over 1,000) as well as grounds for inspiration, in prose so terse and clear it verges on dictatorial. An essential reference for any home cook.

The Food of Sichuan (2019). By Fuchsia Dunlop. W.W. Norton; 480 pages; $40 and £30

Sichuanese is among the most profound, complex and delicious cuisines on earth. Few Westerners understand it better than Fuchsia Dunlop. She is scholarly, relentlessly curious and an unabashed enthusiast; as a result, this book provides a lovely portrait of the region of Sichuan, as well as an outstanding overview of its cuisine. In the West, Sichuanese cuisine has a reputation for being spicy, and it often is, but Ms Dunlop also includes the subtler dishes—the warming soups and invigoratingly sour cold dishes. Anyone who loves Sichuan food will cook their way through this book like a thriller, though many will no doubt keep returning to her “fish-fragrant eggplant,” which, as she correctly notes, “sums up the luxuriant pleasures of Sichuanese food: the warm colours and tastes, the subtlety of complex flavours.”

The Book of Jewish Food (1996). By Claudia Roden. Knopf; 688 pages; $50. Penguin; £26

This book seems an impossible task. Jews, after all, live all over the world, and generally cook much like their neighbours. The only commonalities Jewish cuisine everywhere shares are an absence of pork, shellfish and other foods that Jewish dietary law forbids, and a heavy meal that can be put into a low oven just before sundown on Friday and eaten for Saturday lunch after temple (Jews may not kindle or extinguish fires on the Sabbath). Instead of running from or rationalising that diversity, Claudia Roden meets it head-on. She has produced an ethnography of the world’s Jewish cultures, extant and vanished, told through food. Her book is divided into Ashkenazi and Sephardic recipes, with the latter section being bigger, more diverse and, alas (your reviewer is Ashkenazi), many times more delicious.

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking (2019). By Toni Tipton-Martin. Clarkson Potter; 320 pages; $35. Ballantine Books; £27.50

It’s impossible to write “the” American-food cookbook: America is immense, immigrant-fuelled and therefore culinarily protean. Fifty years ago pizza and bagels were niche, big-city ethnic foods; now they are found everywhere. A century ago, terrapin soup and canvasback duck were the height of sophistication; Americans ate both species nearly to extinction. New dishes rise and older ones fall away constantly. So cookery writers have to find a throughline for American food, and few have succeeded more brilliantly than Toni Tipton-Martin. Her book shows the breadth and sophistication of African-American contributions to the American table. Even American gourmets will learn as they read. Most importantly, every recipe in this book works beautifully. Usually, recipes are a guide or a starting point; hers are gospel. Start with the pork chops in lemon-caper sauce and go from there.

Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen (2014). By Meera Sodha. Flatiron Books; 320 pages; $35. Fig Tree; £20

Set aside the accessibility and deliciousness of this book’s recipes. Never mind that they can almost all be made from readily available ingredients without breaking a sweat or the bank. Two things make this cookbook, among all South Asian offerings and beyond, stand out. The first is Meera Sodha’s recipe for rice, which is perfect and foolproof (her cilantro chutney is close behind). The second is her prose. Just try to read Ms Sodha’s description of her grandmother, which introduces a millet-flatbread recipe, without smiling: “Aged 80, my grandma enjoys a bit of bingo, the occasional Bollywood film and properly slapping a millet bread about until it’s perfectly round.”

Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables (2017). By Joshua McFadden. Artisan; 384 pages; $40 and £30

Everyone knows vegetables should comprise a greater share of the Western diet. But too often, the pitfall of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks is that they prize virtue over taste. This one does the opposite. It isn’t vegetarian; it just puts vegetables at the centre of the meal, and treats them not as something to eat because people must, but as something to happily prepare because, when properly grown and picked at the right time, they are delicious. Joshua McFadden works in fields as well as kitchens, and it shows. He divides the year, as the title suggests, into six growing seasons (summer comprises three: early, middle and late); unusually, the winter recipes are every bit as thoughtful and delicious as the summer ones. A cookbook to plan your garden around.■

Our co-host of The Intelligence and Checks & Balance podcasts writes “World in a Dish”, a fortnightly column in the Culture section of the print edition. He has written about Ukraine’s diverse, unique cuisine and Iowa’s Maid-Rite sandwich, among other treats.

Do you have your own recommendations? Send them to with the subject line “Cookbooks” and your name, city and country. We will publish a selection of readers’ suggestions.

未注明 - 1979年。朱莉娅-柴尔德与厨师们一起烹饪。(Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
2022年6月7日 (2022年6月22日更新) | NEW YORK

这篇文章是我们夏季读物系列的一部分。请访问我们的收藏,以发现 "经济学人读物 "指南、特邀文章和更多季节性的分心。

这些天来,一本烹饪书有什么用?不仅仅是菜谱:那些菜谱可以在网上找到,有多种版本,不可避免地被满屏的虚假故事和浏览器弹出的广告所引入。也不只是技术:同样,任何想知道如何清洗鱿鱼或烤鸡的人都可以去YouTube。但是,虽然单一的食谱或视频可以提供信息,但都不能真正讲述一个人、一个地方或一个美食的故事。任何一本烹饪书都只是 "一个 "故事,而不是 "整个 "故事。菜系是变化的;它们相互渗透;它们随着每个人走到炉子和砧板前而变化。一个教学视频或在线食谱很少能让人感到愉悦,也不值得为了乐趣而重新审视。一本好的烹饪书应该做到这两点。以下是最值得在你的书架上占有一席之地的七本。



- 我们的巴特比专栏作家解释了如何避免商业中最常用的词汇
- 尤瓦尔-诺亚-哈拉里写道:乌克兰的危机是人类历史的方向
- 大流行病给经济学家带来了新的生机
- 维多利亚时代英国最重要的无赖Flashman将成为一名伟大的记者



四川的食物》(2019年)。作者:Fuchsia Dunlop。W.W. Norton;480页;40美元和30英镑

川菜是地球上最深刻、最复杂、最美味的菜系之一。很少有西方人比Fuchsia Dunlop更了解它。她是一位学者,有着不懈的好奇心和不折不扣的爱好者;因此,这本书为四川地区提供了一幅可爱的肖像,以及对其美食的出色概述。在西方,川菜以辛辣著称,而且经常如此,但邓洛普女士还包括了一些更微妙的菜肴--温暖的汤和令人振奋的酸味冷盘。任何喜欢川菜的人都会像看惊悚片一样看完这本书,尽管许多人无疑会不断回到她的 "鱼香茄子",正如她正确指出的那样,这道菜 "概括了川菜的丰富乐趣:温暖的颜色和味道,复杂味道的微妙之处。"



Jubilee。来自两个世纪的非裔美国人烹饪的食谱》(2019)。作者:Toni Tipton-Martin。Clarkson Potter;320页;35美元。百龄坛图书公司;27.50英镑

要写出 "美国食品 "的食谱是不可能的。美国幅员辽阔,移民众多,因此在文化上也很丰富。50年前,比萨饼和百吉饼是小众的大城市民族食品,现在它们随处可见。一个世纪前,陆军汤和帆布鸭是最先进的食物;美国人吃这两种食物几乎到了灭绝的程度。新的菜品不断涌现,老的菜品不断消失。因此,烹饪作家必须为美国食品找到一条主线,很少有人比托尼-蒂普顿-马丁更出色地成功。她的书展示了非裔美国人对美国餐桌的贡献的广度和复杂性。即使是美国美食家也会在阅读中学习。最重要的是,这本书中的每道菜谱都很好用。通常情况下,食谱是一个指南或一个起点;而她的食谱则是福音。从柠檬锥子酱的猪排开始,从那里开始。

印度制造。来自印度家庭厨房的食谱》(2014)。作者:Meera Sodha。Flatiron Books;320页;35美元。无花果树;20英镑

抛开这本书的食谱的可及性和美味性。别的不说,它们几乎都可以用现成的材料制作,而不需要出汗或破费。有两件事使这本食谱在所有南亚产品中脱颖而出。第一是米拉-索达(Meera Sodha)的米饭食谱,它是完美的、傻瓜式的(她的香菜酸辣酱紧随其后)。第二是她的散文。试着读一下索达女士对她祖母的描述,其中介绍了一个小米平板面包的食谱,就会不由自主地笑起来。"80岁的祖母喜欢玩宾果游戏,偶尔看宝莱坞电影,以及适当地拍打小米面包,直到它完全变圆"。



我们的《情报》和《制衡》播客的共同主持人撰写了 "菜中世界",这是印刷版文化栏目的一个双周专栏。他曾写过乌克兰多样化的独特美食和爱荷华州的Maid-Rite三明治以及其他美食。

你有自己的推荐吗?请将它们发送至,并注明主题 "烹饪书 "和您的姓名、城市和国家。我们将公布读者建议的部分内容。
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