Beyond Literary Landscapes—Classic Cookbooks

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This week’s column continues with last week’s cookbook theme.  However, instead of focusing on contemporary cookbooks, this week, we consider the classics of the genre.  Readers may notice that some of these cookbooks are classics from previous eras, while others are a bit more contemporary—but have already been deemed classics.


Some examples of classic cookbooks include Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen, Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte, and How to Eat by Nigella Lawson.


These cookbooks feature recipes from a variety of countries, including Mexico, Somalia, Eritrea, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, England, Italy, and France.


Written over a variety of eras and decades, these classic cookbooks transcend time and place.


These cookbooks would be of interest to AU learners who want to learn the basics of cooking in general, as well as the basics of various international cuisines.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to cookbooks are available in a variety of disciplines, including some that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in NUTR 331: Nutrition for Health, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “surveys the basic principles of human nutrition and the relationships between nutrition and chronic diseases.”  (No prerequisites are required for this course.  However, senior-level high school chemistry and biology courses are recommended).

Students may also be interested in NUTR 406: Modern Concepts in Nutrition, another senior-level, three-credit course, which “provides an in-depth understanding of topics valuable to a well-rounded understanding of nutrition and presents recent developments in the field.”  (This course requires NUTR 405: Nutrition in Health and Disease as a prerequisite.  However, students who have completed the above-mentioned NUTR 331: Nutrition for Health may ask for course coordinator approval instead).  Happy reading!