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flavorful, ethnic cookbooks

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for son's girlfriend; she's asking specifically for mediterranean, cuban, or italian. I don't think she's a terribly experienced cook, just willing and eager. She says she already has Thai and Indian.

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  1. Any of Claudia Roden's various middle eastern/mediterranean cookbooks is a good choice on the Med front.

    1. Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean (including author mentioned above)...


      1. Patti LaBelle's "Good Life" cookbook. It has the bomb apple pie in there...try it!!

        1. Id say Italian - one of Marcella Hazan's books (Essentials probably, since it compiles her first two) would be an excellent choice since the recipes are relatively simple yet carefully written to produce very , very good food. Its an excellent cookbook to learn from and use forever. dont think it has photos, but thats not been a problem for me.

          1. I just ordered "The Silver Spoon" for my wife. It's considered "Italy's bestselling culinary bible." Here's the amazon link: http://snipurl.com/thesilverspoon.

            If she enjoys Thai cooking and would like to sample other SE Asian recipes I'd suggest "Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia" or "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen", both also available from amazon.

            1. I like Patricia Wells' Trattoria for Italian. I use it more than I do my books by Marcella Hazan. Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Cooking is a classic.

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              1. re: Velda Mae

                I agree about Mediterranean Cooking. I love all Wolfert's books but I think Mediterranean Cooking (both the original early version and the updated versions) is probably her most accessible book for a beginning cook. It has a simplicity and many delicious recipes. The recipes were collected from all around the mediterranean basin and are interestingly grouped by ingredient type, which can be helpful. Also well indexed in case you are looking a different way for a recipe.