The New York Times International Cook Book

When my wife and I got married, 37 years ago, we wanted to travel the world but couldn't afford to do it. Then I came across a copy of Craig Claiborne's New York Times International Cook Book (Harper & Row, 1971). What an idea: a cookbook categorized by countries! Making meals from the recipes in this book became our way of exploring the world. We could enjoy the cuisines of France, Italy, China, Cuba, and on and on. One night we'd try the French-style poached pears; another night, it'd be a Russian beef Stroganoff. Nothing could have prepared us better for our real-world travels to come; Claiborne taught us that sharing the food of a place gives you the best insight into its culture and its people. My cookbook collection has expanded since those early days, but my dog-eared copy of the International Cook Book is still the one I go to more than any other. —Ronald Ortman, Tarpon Springs, Florida

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