Comfort AND Joy

I distrust the term “comfort food,” which evokes images of casseroles thickened with canned soup, or joyless food whose sole asset is that it is steamy hot. Main Library’s cookbook collection (6,000+ titles) includes 104 titles with “comfort food” in the title or subject heading. Of eleven cookbooks in the “comfort food” category added in 2011, I present one strong recommendation.

 Saveur: The New Comfort Food – Home Cooking from Around the World. The pages of this book offer more than 100 recipes for comforting foods from around the globe—spring rolls, empanadas, potato latkes, hummus, huevos rancheros, Korean fried chicken, kimchi pancakes. Many are recipes of fare prepared by home cooks. Though the dishes are not fussy, these recipes don’t cut corners. Many require planning ahead. The beautiful design of this book includes hunger-coaxing photographs and sidebars offering cultural and historical information.

Saveur, the food magazine “for people who experience the world food-first,” has published four cookbooks. A copy of Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian sits on my cookbook shelf at home. Page after page sports cheery images of a culture in love with food. Although “comfort” is not part of its title or subject headings, the culinary culture it portrays satisfies both body and soul—comfort food.



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3 responses to “Comfort AND Joy

  1. I think SAVEUR (& you) have hit the nail on the head: comfort food= home cooked food of a particular culture. ALL home cooks can’t be bad and/or rely on cream of x soups for EVERYTHING. Casseroles as we know them didn’t even exist until the 20th century… Anyway, great post and I’ll have to look for those cookbooks.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! It’s great to hear from a fellow-librarian. Best of luck with your library job search!

  3. chaparroc

    Hey, Julie, now wouldn’t a fan of Saveur like you love all the old issues of the magazine in print??!! I’m cleaning out my book shelves…

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