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Nov 2, 2012 07:22 AM

What's the best cookbook for learning a cuisine from the ground up?

I'm looking for a rigorous, systematic approach for learning how to cook a new type of cuisine. I don't really care which one, I just want to learn something new. The ideal cookbook I'm looking for would start by listing any specialized cookware and pantry staples, then lay the groundwork through basic staples, all the way up to advanced banquet-type dishes. As little cute editorializing and fluff as possible. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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  1. Two classics are Bayless (Authentic Mexican) on Mexican and Hazan (Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking) on Italian. They both orient you to the scope of the cuisine (e.g. its ingredients and techniques) and therefore you learn the cuisine's practical philosophy (what are its ideas and how do you accomplish them).

    1. If you're into Japanese cuisine,try Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh. For Chinese, Fuchsia Dunlop book and for Vietnamese, Mai Pham or Angela Nguyen.

      1. I think Vikram Vij's cookbook offers a very good introduction to Indian cooking. I have his "Relax, Honey" book and there's some great information on Indian spices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cellophane_star

          Vij's first cookbook is outstanding. So is his restaurant in Vancouver.

        2. For Chinese, Irene Kuo's "The Key to Chinese Cooking" offers more grounding in the basics and a wider range of cuisines.
          Much as I love worship and adore la Dunlop, I would say Kuo was better for this purpose.

          1. you can also checkout the homecooking board