We recently received a delightful cookbook that is truly a global culinary journey. Palate Passport, written by foodie and cookbook author, Neha Khullar, is more than a collection of recipes representative of world cuisine, it’s a culinary history lesson that delves into one of my favorite things – the story behind the food.
The author takes you with her as she explores the culinary heritage and traditions of different world cultures. It reinforced a valuable lesson for her: food brings people together, creating community, regardless of religion, political views or language.
Her journey intersected master chefs, street food vendors, grandmothers and lovers of food from around the world. While you might expect the book to be organized by country or culture, it’s not. You’ll find chapters on sauces, soups and salads, chicken and eggs, pork, meats, seafood, vegetarian, and sweets and drinks – with representative recipes from different cultures in each chapter. The preface to many of the recipes tells the story behind the traditions, flavors, and spices associated with the dish.
For those, like me, who love a good backstory, you won’t be disappointed. We wanted to share some representative recipe favorites from Palate Passport and I thought it would be fairly simple to narrow down my choices. It was not. Using yellow sticky notes, I started at the beginning, marking those that I found intriguing because of the flavors involved, the cultural story behind the food, the use of particular spices…let’s just say by the end, I’d earmarked more than 50 recipes.
We did manage to reign it in, so we weren’t basically just republishing the entire book and ruining sales for the author. This is a cookbook you’ll want to spend time with; not just the recipes, but the stories. Food is a tie that binds and this is a fascinating journey.
A Sample Journey From Palate Passport