Help me rediscover a long lost cookbook
April 23, 2013 4:45 AM   Subscribe

I would like to once again own a cookbook I used to enjoy. Problem is I don't know who it was by or what it was called. Yes, I know this is a long shot, everything I remember is contained within.

What I know:
*It was a collection of recipes from all over the world. I think grouped into geographic sections. It did not focus on a particular region but was very broad.
*I know it had a recipe for Ma Po Tofu (a good one at that) and I think some Indian dish like samosas. And obviously many more. I know I cooked pasta from it.
*Its spine was red (at least predominantly) with I think a photographic picture on the front.
*Hardcover. Coffee table format.
*It was bigger than A4/foolscap and in portrait orientation. It was about 30mm or 1 1/4" thick.
*It had a dust jacket.
*I bought it in 2007 in Ireland but I believe it was internationally released.

I never cooked that many recipes out of it, I only had it for a couple of years, but I loved leafing through it and would love to use it again. The recipes were rather involved and certainly not for a quick meal after work, which partly explains why I didn't use it too much.

I think I'd recognise it if I saw it again.

Ridiculous long shot of the week?
posted by deadwax to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you remember if it was a vegetarian cookbook? Or did it have meat in it? That might help narrow it down.
posted by barnone at 6:20 AM on April 23, 2013

Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian came out in 2007 and is a big, gorgeous book.
posted by Malla at 6:20 AM on April 23, 2013

World Vegetarian is smaller than deadwax describes, and has a purple dust jacket.
posted by something something at 6:31 AM on April 23, 2013

Perhaps World Vegetarian Classics? Google preview shows a recipe for ma po tofu, p210.
posted by escapepod at 6:52 AM on April 23, 2013

Sundays at Moosewood? The recipes are grouped by region and there is some red on the spine. Highly recommended even if it isn't the one you're looking for.
posted by susanvance at 6:52 AM on April 23, 2013

New York Times International Cookbook?
posted by bq at 8:00 AM on April 23, 2013

Could it be Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes In The World?
posted by pocams at 10:12 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sheila Lukins All Around The World Cookbook? She was one of the Silver Palate authors and the book is predominantly red. It came out in 1994 though but I think it's still in print.
posted by janey47 at 12:49 PM on April 23, 2013

World Vegetarian is purple but it's a warm color that could've been misremembered.
posted by barnone at 12:49 PM on April 23, 2013

Response by poster: Sorry, should have said, it was not vegetarian.
posted by deadwax at 2:56 PM on April 23, 2013

Any chance it was part of the re-issued Williams-Sonoma Savoring series? Maybe Appetizers or Pasta & Rice?

These were "bind-ups" from an older series of detailed, high-quality, but out-of-print international cookbooks. The recipes had a lot of backstory, were not simple, and were accompanied with real photography. "Bind-up" just means the existing content was re-organized so each volume focused on specific courses from around the world. Despite the brand name, because of the nature of the publication, it could certainly have been found for sale in Ireland at a normal retail shop around 2007.
posted by juliplease at 10:04 PM on April 23, 2013

Hey, this morning I checked my copy of Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World (as suggested by pocams, above) and it has a recipe for Ma Po Tofu. Sheila Lukins does not. I'm willing to bet it's the Bittman book.

By the way, his cookbooks are the ones I would save if I had to pare down my collection. If I could only keep one, it would be How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. And I'm not even a vegetarian.
posted by janey47 at 9:05 AM on April 25, 2013

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