Monday, December 23, 2013

Jeff Koehler's Spain

Anyone who is as big a fan of Spain as I am will love writer/photographer/cook/traveler Jeff Koehler's new book, Spain: Recipes and Traditions from the Verdant Hills of the Basque Country to the Coastal Waters of Andalucia (Chronicle Books). But even for someone who may not (yet) be a fan of Spanish cuisine, this book is terrific.  As Koehler notes in his Introduction, "Spanish cooking has never been more in fashion, nor has it ever elicited such interest as it does now." 

I'm as big a fan of Koehler as I am of Spain and Spanish food, and you may have read some of his writing in Saveur and Food & Wine, among a number of other periodicals.  Also, his book Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes, is a favorite of mine, as are Rice Pasta Couscous: the Heart of the Mediterranean Kitchen (2009) and La Paella (2006), also published by Chronicle.

He has lived in Barcelona since 1996, and this newest book is not meant to be an authoritative tome like Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain but rather it focuses on the country kitchen, which Koehler notes is the traditional kitchen in Spain.  The tastes of rural landscapes "are not easily lost," Koelher writes, "making sure that the countryside is never far from any table in Spain, even in the cities."

Cooks and travelers alike will enjoy this book, in the kitchen as well as in the proverbial armchair. 

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