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.