Shopping & Reviews

Books Worth Buying: November’s Best Food and Drink Releases

The monthly guide to our favorite new cookbook releases

We get dozens of cookbooks each week at SAVEUR, and every month we share our favorite new releases—books that, through one avenue of greatness or another, have earned a place on our over-stuffed shelves.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry

    By Cathy Barrow
    Amid the proliferation of canning, preserving, and pickling books on the market, what sets Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry apart is that it is, well, practical. Barrow has set out to present "putting up" not as a hobby, but as a smart way to supply yourself year-round with better ingredients—from pickles, ketchup, and jams to homemade stock, canned beans, and cured meats. Though I've never seen myself as a DIY-er, I snapped up Rainier cherries during their short appearance at the farmers' market and tried my hand at Barrow's straightforward recipe for preserved cocktail cherries. I've been savoring them in my old fashioneds ever since. —Felicia Campbell

    Available from W. W. Norton & Company; $35
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    Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond
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      By Sabrina Ghayour
      Although my father was born in Iran, I've been there only once, when I was 15. I went with my father and sister. We stayed for less than two weeks, but I remember the food so clearly. After our trip ended and we went home to Maryland, I held on to the memories of those meals we had shared, constantly begging my dad to make for us what my aunts had cooked. When I found Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond, I was immediately transported back to Iran and that trip. The recipes are enchanting and the photographs inspiring. I was particularly excited to see salad olivieh, a potato salad made with roasted and shredded chicken, eggs, cilantro, and peas, a dish my sister and I had fallen in love with while in Iran. I had forgotten about it and was thrilled to rediscover it, along many other recipes both traditional (shirazi salad and joojeh kabab, a saffron and lemon chicken that is one of my dad's specialties) and modern (saffron and rosemary chicken and eastern-style focaccia). I can't stop thinking about the recipe for pistachio and feta dip—discovered by Ghayour in Istanbul, it's an irresistible combination of pistachios, feta, greek yogurt, dill, and cilantro with a hint of chile, a dish I plan on making as we wait for our turkey to roast at Thanksgiving. —Farideh Sadeghin

      Available November 21 from Interlink Publishing; $35
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      In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes From Grandmas Around the World
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        By Gabriele Galimberti
        Days before her departure to couch-surf her way across the globe for two years, Gabriele Galimberti encountered a worried protest from her grandmother: "What are you going to eat?" This concern was the inspiration for Galimberti's quest for delicious, home-cooked meals from grandmothers everywhere. The women, ranging from a cook for Italian priests in Tirana, Albania, to the "queen of fried food" in a small Colombian town, share recipes emblematic of their culture and their personal repertoire. Galimberti's documentation of their homes, kitchens, and dishes weaves an anthropological tale of how food creates identity and connects emotion across diverse cultures. The photography is at once stark and deeply welcoming, and the profiles are fully imbued with the personal aesthetic of each woman's culinary domain. —Allison Wist

        Available from Clarkson Potter; $30
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        Italian Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques
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          By Mia Mangolini
          There are a lot of Italian cookbooks out there, but I can't imagine a more comprehensive, user-friendly one than this exquisite tome from Mia Mangolini, an Italian chef and owner of the Cucina di Casa Mia cooking school in Paris. Oversized and more than 450 pages long (make sure you put it on a sturdy shelf), it includes nearly 200 pages of basic techniques and practical guides before you even get to the 100-plus recipes. Produced by the French publisher Flammarian, the book is beautifully designed and extremely visual—nearly every spread has at least one gorgeous, in-your-face photo, sometimes several—and there are other neat features, like QR codes that allow you to view instructional videos on your smart phone. The recipes, which are divided by region, span both the classics—arancini, bucatini all'Amatriciana, osso buco, and panna cotta, to name just a few—and the less expected, such as escarole pie and dandelion gratin. Each gorgeous dish comes with a suggested wine pairing. There are a dozen featured "guest chefs" and their recipes; chefs' notes throughout; and frequent fun facts—all adding up to an amazing resource for anyone interested in, as the title succinctly says, Italian cooking. —Camille Rankin

          Available from Flammarion; $49.95
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          The Baking Bible
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            By Rose Levy Beranbaum
            For an unconfident baker like myself, the recipes in Rose Levy Beranbaum's tome The Baking Bible seemed at first glance to point to some distant, unreachable peak of achievement. Once I dug into the book, however, it revealed itself to be a treasure both for experienced bakers and novices alike. Beranbaum gladly takes the reader by the hand with an introduction that includes "golden rules" for baking as well as troubleshooting tips, such as how to determine if your butter cake is slumping because the oven is not hot enough. The highly detailed recipes make it easy to obtain a perfect result, with instructions that specify where in the oven each particular cake or pastry should be baked, measurements in both volume and weight, and the temperatures of ingredients such as butter and eggs. It is a rigorous book, but very approachable. And the plenitude of full-page photographs (gorgeously iced cakes, sumptuous berry pies and crisps, and elegant pastries like the inimitable kouign-amann) make it not just useful but pleasurable, too. —Oliver Erteman

            Available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $40
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