What Would Grandma Cook? If she lived in Zanzibar? Latvia? Greece? Or...?

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All to often it feels like real foodies focus only on the nutritional content of food. But in reality, breaking bread (even if it's gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, whatever-free bread...) with family and friends and even strangers has an intense emotional, physical, yes, even spiritual aspect to it that gets over-looked sometimes in this wonderful age of fighting the golden arches and corn-syurp behemoths. 

But, we all have those special dishes we like to prepare for our loved ones, or remember our loved ones preparing for us. The recipes used over and over again, that mean so much more than the ingredients that go into them. This love, manifest through food, is present in cultures everywhere

This is why I thoroughly enjoyed Gabriele Galimberti's latest book and photography masterpiece,  In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World. This book is a collection of pictures of grandmothers from all over the world, and their signature, made-with-love dishes they served Galimberti when he visited their homes. It is an absolutely wonderful glimpse into the lives of loving, cooking grandmothers everywhere. 

When Galimberti decided to embark on an eighteen-month photography trip around the word, he stopped in at his grandmothers house to enjoy her delicious food and to bid her goodbye. She was concerned for her grandson. But not because of where he was traveling, what dangers he might face... but because she wanted to know what he would eat! Galimberti assured her that there must be grandmothers everywhere who know how to cook and cook for their grandchildren with love, too. That is how this book was born.  

This book is a delight for many reasons. First, it has recipes for each dish, which considering how many countries are represented in it are quite diverse (think caterpillars in Malawi and fresh iguana in the Cayman Islands, for example...). Also, the pictures are taken in the homes of the women who prepared them, so you get to travel, in a small way, to visit them, too. And lastly, each picture is accompanied by a short story about each woman and the meal she prepared. 

Truly, this book is just a wonderful addition to anyone's home who eats, cooks, or loves either. Surely, there's no better "coffee table" book to help strike up conversation when you have guests over for a meal. 

Also by Gabriele Galimberti

Another wonderful collection from Gabriele Galimberti, Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things. Galimberti has an amazing ability to turn the mundane into heart-stopping, thought-provoking works of art. If you enjoyed In Her Kitchen, you'll love this collection as well. 

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I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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