Grape, Olive, Pig by Matt Goulding
Few writers immerse themselves so fully in their subject as Matt Goulding, whose first book Rice, Noodle, Fish was a deep dive into the obsessions at the heart of Japanese food culture and an OFM favourite. Goulding’s beat is understanding places where food and life remain intertwined, so where better for him to write about next than Spain? His wife’s family are Spanish and bonding with them meant helping his father-in-law, Angel, in the annual slaughter of a pig, helped by great uncle Chacho, who just happens to be a shepherd with his own cave. You could easily read Grape, Olive, Pig just for adventurous travel tips. But it’s heart is in learning what makes Spain and its regions tick: in what paella means to Valencia, how crucial tuna is to the history of Cádiz and why, if you want to make migas, uncle Chacho and the ageing shepherds of Granada are the people to talk to.GG
Cooking with Scorsese
Don’t come to these clever little “movie cookbooks” from London’s Hato Press expecting conventional recipes with step-by-step instructions. Instead, the Cooking With Scorsese series (part three comes out later this year) shows memorable food scenes from the movies in sequences of screenshots – more comic strip than cookbook – and leaves the rest to your imagination. So you may not learn in precise detail how to make Goodfellas’ jailbird pasta al pomodoro or the rice omelette from Tampopo but you’ll get the gist. The books may also whet your appetite to rewatch an eclectic array of films by the likes of Pedro Almodóvar, Hayao Miyazaki and David Lynch: Scorsese is just the starting point. KF
Elisabeth Luard’s European Peasant Cookery
Published more than 30 years ago and never out of print, European Peasant Cookery was Luard’ s first book. It has its origins in Andalucia where she lived for nine years, with her late husband Nicholas and four children, but roams across the continent in a way that broadened o ur understanding of European cooking. Not the aspirational kind, but recipes handed down across generations. Each component, from ingredient to dish to cuisine, is meticulously researched, and enhanced by Luard’s own lovely illustrations. More than a dozen food books and two novels later she remains an inspiration. Says Jeremy Lee, chef owner at Quo Vadis in Soho: “A recipe for cooking beans with a ham bone becomes poetry in her elegant hand.