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Best Cookbooks Of 2014 Offer Tastes And Tales From Around The Globe

Andrea Nguyen's <em>Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches</em> is the perfect gift for your friend who has an app tracing the routes of half a dozen food trucks on her phone.
Andrea Nguyen's <em>Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches</em> is the perfect gift for your friend who has an app tracing the routes of half a dozen food trucks on her phone.

2014 was a year for faraway cuisines to take up residence in U.S. kitchens — cookbook authors cast their nets for flavors from Paris, the Middle East and Southeast Asia; from the ancient spice routes and every point in between.

Meanwhile, the food world's leaders struck out in unconventional directions, and some of the year's most interesting books stray far from the glossy, aspirational approach we've come to expect from the big names. A food editor who claims she's "not a great cook" goes to chefs for advice, while another starts a farm. One chef raids the pantry for its most common ingredients, while another swoons for mushrooms alone. And apples, glorious in their variety, spill from between the covers of a cookbook with hardly any recipes at all.

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