Note: Try checking them out of your local library and taking them for a test drive before you buy them. That's what I did with many of these.
1. Hands down, my favorite, go-to cookbook is Where Flavor Was Born by Andreas Viestad, photographs by Mette Randem. Part geography book, part history lesson, part photo book, it also has amazing recipes. I haven't cooked every recipe, yet, but all of the ones I've made (and that's many, if not most of them) have been awesome. Last week we made "Cumin Toasted Chicken Drumsticks with Honey" for a dinner party. Our 9 year old guest said, "This chicken in heavenly!"
3. Rice and Risotto by Christine Ingram. Can you say wild mushroom and Parmesan risotto? Mmmmm. Many other delicious recipes, too!
4. The Vegetarian Table: North Africa by Kitty Morse. North Africans are not typically vegetarians, but this cookbook captures the flavors of the Maghreb. One of my favorite recipes is "Couscous T'Faya" (Couscous with Caramelized Onions and Raisins). I made it before our trip to Morocco and was pleasantly surprised to have this exact dish when we were there.
5. The Iraqi Cookbook by Lamees Ibrahim. I've already shared the recipes for Timman Queemah and Timman Jazar from this cookbook. It offers a wonderful look into the culture of a country many people only associate with war.
6. My favorite cookbook for those just venturing into cooking from other cultures is Global Feast Cookbook: Recipes from Around the World by Mystic Seaport Museum. It was my first cookbook of this sort and it eased me in. Many of the recipes have been altered slightly to accommodate American ingredients and cooking styles. It's a good place to start. Two drawbacks: 1. no photographs, 2. it's out of print. (Amazon offer used ones for sale).
7. The Usborne Internet-Linked Children's World Cookbook by Angela Wilkes and Fiona Watt. My kids have been cooking with me for long enough that they love to use my "adult" cookbooks. For budding chefs, however, this offers a nice, easy way to start. (Usborne also offers other cooking titles).
There you have it: my favorite cook books. What are yours?