World recipe books for healthy living, entertaining and pure indulgence

Recipe books continue to be popular as the British love affair with cooking continues and at Weald Smokery, we love to delve into a good recipe book from across the seas. Bringing the opportunity to discover new foods, flavours and taste combinations, these wonderfully indulgent recipe books also give us great ideas for how to use our own smoked food in new and exciting ways (and where to consider for our next holiday.)

Here are five of the best world food recipe books that you can buy right now.

Japan: The Cookbook (Nancy Singleton Hachisu, £30)

There is something seminal about the way Japanese food and dining culture have taken the UK by storm in recent years. This trendy tsunami is more than just a fad, however, and this 464-page book is sure to be consumed with much gusto by a lot of home cooks. A good choice for Japanophiles too, it is a beautifully presented, beautifully researched and beautifully written introduction to this wonderful archipelago of the Rising Sun.

Complete with chef biographies, technique descriptions and essential equipment information; the recipes within, including healthy stir-fries and pickles, are beautiful too. Particular merit goes to the walnut-dressed chrysanthemum petals and chicken yakitori.

Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan (Chloe Coscarelli, £15)

Despite the American spelling of this book, (Chloe’s from New York so it is okay, really!?), this is a vegan recipe book which meat eaters can certainly tuck into. It is also ideal if healthy or slimming recipe books are on your agenda.

Vegan and vegetarian food has long struggled with its beige image and this book tackles that – head on and in full colour. From the mango-guacamole crunch burgers to the smoky grits, (which use smoked cheddar which you can buy online at Weald Smokery), there are dishes here that even red meat evangelists would happily dine on for any meal of the week.

Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel (Alon Shaya, £15)

As with all of the books in this review, this selection is more than just a collection of recipes. This odyssey is exactly that – exploring how Shaya’s heritage has influenced and shaped his approach to food and cooking, as well as his outlook on life. Taking the reader from their kitchen, into the author’s Israeli-Italian-American eyes and out into his world of food and living, it magically flavours and spices our own lives.

The recipes here are a tool used more as punctuation for Shaya’s musings than anything else. But the inclusion of restaurant dishes to try at home provides a true taste of the Holy Land.

Feast: Foods of the Islamic World (Anissa Helou, £35)

When it comes to recipe books ‘Feast’ certainly delivers – there are more than 300 recipes here; each celebrating the richly flavoursome foods of Arab, Mughal, North African and Persian cuisine. Looking at cooking traditions and experiences from lands as far flung as Senegal, Egypt, India and Indonesia, it is full of classic meat and fish dishes as well as the author’s personal favourites.

What gives this book its true characteristic is the author; not a Muslim herself and raised Christian, Helou grew up in the Muslim quarter of Beirut. Delights to look out for include the saffron-infused and milk-free Turkish rice pudding and the front-cover dish, the Aleppo-inspired kabab karaz.

How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places (Diana Henry, £20)

This book is not an exposé on the best ways to eat soft fruits. But it is a book which has quite literally been a life in the writing, with Henry having started to document the global foods and dishes she cooked as a young adult. And the book’s title and other recipes do become clear when reading and cooking through other dishes named as intriguingly as, ‘Monsieur Matuchet plays the piano’ and ‘drunk on olive oil’, it becomes a little clearer.

Inspired by her unfulfilled wanderlust in her early youth, our author has curated this collection of recipes which, to her, are immeasurably strong and meaningful. For the rest of us, the collection is just a thoroughly good and wholly appetising read.

Whether you are inspired by great food writing, great company or just great ingredients, you will hopefully find a book or two here to help you put those passions on a plate. Our smoked meats, smoked fish and luxury smoked food hampers are likewise full of passion and available to buy online at Weald Smokery for you to enjoy at home – perhaps with a good read?