Autumn is always a bit of an “off season” for international travel — and this fall, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means even the most adventurous globetrotters are left to dream of the world’s wonders from home.
But cookbooks have always provided a way for us to explore the world of food. This season's releases take us across the globe: to the railways of India, the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe, the seaside towns of Mozambique, the rugged landscapes of Afghanistan. Here, nine new international cookbooks that will widen the lens of your home cooking.
Photograph by Jessica Pettway.
By Alvin Cailan, with Alexandra Cuerdo
For Alvin Cailan, founder of cult-favorite L.A. sandwich shop Eggslut, this cookbook is a love letter to his heritage — and a conduit to the beautiful Southeast Asian islands. Recipes range from advanced (a seven-day process for making lechón) to accessible, like his distinctly American-inflected cheeseburger-filled lumpia. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
By Irina Georgescu
In Romania's Carpathian Mountains, East and West converge on the table. Bucharest-born writer Irina Georgescu shares dishes that combine influences from Turkey and Greece, Hungary and Austria, like prăjitură cu caise (apricot-yogurt cake) or ciorbă — a tart, creamy soup — with stuffed zucchini. Interlink Books.
By Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy
Bring an empty stomach for this train trip across India with Nashville chef Maneet Chauhan's guide to regional variations of chaat, the snacks believed to have originated at trackside stalls. With co-author Jody Eddy, she serves up steamed dumplings, puffed puchkas stuffed with potatoes and tomato or coconut chutney, and other on-the-go eats. Clarkson Potter, October 6.
To preorder: bookshop.com, $30
By Lara Lee
Much of what people think of as Indonesian food originates in Bali. But Indonesian-Australian chef Lara Lee draws on her roots to illuminate the full breadth of this colorful cuisine. Traveling through the massive archipelago, she learns how to make egg crêpe rolls, an array of sambals, and bakso, the meatball soup beloved by Barack Obama during his childhood years in Jakarta. Bloomsbury, October 13.
By Kelly Fields and Kate Heddings
There’s more than one way to make corn bread. And monkey bread. And even chess pie. In her first cookbook, James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Kelly Fields of Willa Jean, in New Orleans, shows readers the full splendor of Southern baked goods. Pull out your blowtorch and your favorite Louis Armstrong album and get to baking. Lorena Jones Books.
By Hawa Hassan, with Julia Turshen
Hawa Hassan, founder of Somali condiments brand Basbaas, ventures into the kitchens of bibis, Swahili for grandmothers, in the countries along Africa’s eastern coast: Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, and Comoros. Each recipe — Nairobi-style mukimo (mashed potatoes with beans and greens), for example, or a Comoran take on the coconut-and-fish stew called m’tsolola — is paired with striking visuals from Kenyan photographer Khadija M. Farah. Ten Speed Press, October 6.
By Durkhanai Ayubi, with recipes by Farida Ayubi
Eschewing the reductive narrative that dominates discussions of Afghan culture, Durkhanai Ayubi invites readers into her homeland in perhaps the most tangible way possible: through its food. The writer and owner of Parwana, a restaurant in Adelaide, Australia, looks back while gazing forward — bringing readers on a full-circle journey (recipes and all) through Afghan history, her childhood in Kabul, refugee life in Pakistan, immigration and entrepreneurship in Australia, and eventually, a culinary research trip back to her family's ancestral villages. Interlink Books.
By Trine Hahnemann
Danish food writer Trine Hahnemann makes the case for a plant-based diet, and her Nordic-inflected recipes are a deliciously convincing argument. Her seasonal, vegetable-forward dishes — like autumnal cauliflower gratin, or smørrebrød with creamed mushrooms on rye — illuminate the produce of the Scandinavian heartland. Quadrille, October 20.
To preorder: bookshop.com, $33
By Jason Wang, with Jessica K. Chou
In this highly anticipated cookbook, Xi’an Famous Foods CEO Jason Wang reflects on the humble beginnings of his family business, founded in Queens by his father in 2005. But he also introduces readers to his birthplace of Xi’an — the city that inspired the iconic noodle shop's most adored dishes, like biangbiang noodles seared in oil with cumin-rubbed lamb. Abrams, October 13.
A version of this story first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline "Taste the World."