Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cookbooks a healthy pastime

A colleague of mine says she has dozens of cookbooks on cuisines from around the world. She collects cookbooks like art. And, during her spare time, she reads them. She has read all about Spanish cuisine. She knows a lot about international foods. She knows what gazpacho is and she knows what baklava is; so, no food is Greek to her, although she doesn’t cook a whole lot. She doesn’t try all the recipes in those books.

I, on the other hand, love to try recipes in cookbooks that I have. I like to replicate an Italian dinner, for instance, in my home. And, I have learned to cook from books. I have learned even Bengali cooking, something that is accessible in the family.

But, I have to admit, I do read cookbooks and food magazines during my leisure merely as a pastime. I love to read recipes and food history, and I love to gawk at those lavish photos, as people read fiction to pass the time. For me, consuming such books itself is a gastronomic delight.

How about you, dear reader? Do you have a lot of cookbooks? Do you merely collect them, read them or cook from them?