The Best American Cookbooks of 2022: From Southern Cooking to Italian-American Classics

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When we think of American food, we imagine an endless pile of pancakes dipped in maple sauce, crunchy, crunchy meats on BBQ and burgers with more pancakes than we have fingers on our hands.

Of course, all of these staples are on offer from our friends across the pond, but the kitchen offers so much more than that. Contrary to the Hollywood description, there are plenty of recipes and meals out there that aren’t served at greasy dinners or late-night takeaway shacks.

In fact, American food may be one of the most interesting cuisines because it reflects the history of immigration in the country’s melting pot—think of the inspirations from Italian, Irish, and Mexican immigrants.

We spoke to Capri Cavaro, the former Democratic senator turned chef, to learn more about American cuisine today.

“Although things like sausages, burgers, s’mores, and ice cream sandwiches are ‘traditional’ in that they work brilliantly for barbecues and outdoor dining, more often than not they involve people bringing traditional festive foods into their home, community, or country. It’s A great opportunity to tell the story of your background and heritage and how you are affected by this every day.

“Telling stories about the ingredients of ‘American food’ is a very exciting task because our country has grown from immigration over its nearly 250-year history. We have to embrace this, and part of telling that story is looking at the product that was available to people here. Dishes have been adapted over the years according to what they can grow in, what is seasonal, and what they can tolerate.”

For our recipe for this week, we headed to London’s famous pancake house, The Pancakes Are, to check out how to bring an English twist to a classic American breakfast.

We’ve rounded up the best American cookbooks that cover all the classics like burgers and ribs as well as more innovative dishes that show American food as world cuisine.

A Break and an Egg!: A Broadway Cookbook

Amazon

Best for: Music lovers

If music is, as Shakespeare once declared “the food of love,” this cookbook is the perfect soundtrack. Featuring an eclectic mix of recipes inspired by the greatest musicals of all time starting with Hamilton to me sound of MusicShe’ll cook (and sing) all day.

Each page contains a music summary and at least one related recipe. With this cookbook alone, you’ll be able to make delicious three-course meals and drinks thanks to creations like Mama’s Well-Peppered Ragu from ChicagoAngel of Music’s luxurious, luxurious cake inspired by phantom of the opera And a Cuban milkshake refreshing from the heart men and dolls.

Alongside the food photos are beautiful illustrations that make this cookbook the perfect gift for music lovers.

United Eat: 50 Great American Dishes to Bring Us All Together

Amazon

Best for: Crowd-pleasing dishes

Looking to be the host with the most? This cookbook is a must-have kitchen shelf because it offers endless mouth-watering dishes that are perfect for sharing. With a dish for each state, you’ll be able to try delicious dishes all the way from the Deep South to Alaska. We loved the Memphis Rendezvous Pulled Chicken Sliders for a new barbecue and Apple Cheddar Pie with Cracker Crust for the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Besides the great recipes, the book has a deeper reading as each recipe is presented by a Democratic or Republican politician that includes stories and information about how food can bring people together in a nonpartisan way. If there was a cookbook that highlighted the power and importance of food, it would be this one.

Northern Soul: Southern-Inspired Home Cooking from a Northern Kitchen

Amazon

Best for: I feel good food

Ditch the calorie count and restrictive diets and dive right into the heart of the delicious American food we know and love. This cookbook from star chef Justin Sutherland brings out the best in Southern cooking inspired by his Northern upbringing and his African and Asian heritage. Our favorite dishes? Your mac and cheese should be topped with a Cheetos Hot or Hough Burger that has one of the best pickles we’ve tasted in a long time. BBQ beans are not to be missed thanks to the versatility – the perfect snack on their own, part of a comforting breakfast or poured over hot potatoes and cheese.

If the names of the recipes aren’t enough to tempt you, one look at the gorgeous photography will leave your stomach groaning for the rest of the day. This is American food like you’ve never seen it before.

Dirty: Dirty food for your dirty chops

Amazon

Best for: Treat yourself to a meal

Grab the napkins, things are about to get messy. Indulge in any of Dirty’s 60 mouth-watering recipes featuring the most trance-inducing comfort food.

Think classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Pizza Fries, and Lasagna Pie that will hit the spot – and then some. The pictures alone are enough to get you drooling but thankfully, it only takes 30 minutes to make these recipes so you don’t have to wait too long.

Try the Hasselback fries and French fries for perfect sides for the grill.

Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook

Amazon

Best for: Innovative BBQ

Written only by a BBQ DJ, this cookbook will add some fun to your next barbecue. It serves up an inventive array of barbecue mac-n cheesecakes (yes, really).

Barbecues can be healthy, but it’s best to look for them elsewhere than in this book. Carnivores, prepare to delight: Fire Food features an entire chapter on the dirtiest and tastiest barbecue treats that will please your next barbecue guests.

There’s also an innovative breakfast and barbecue chapter for round-the-clock grillers. As for our favorite, we’re still daydreaming about French grilled cheese toast, inspired by DJ BBQ’s Stateside travels.

Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Basics: A Cookbook

Amazon

Best for: Italian food with a twist

We all know pizza wasn’t In fact It was created in Chicago, but the impact of Italian food on American cuisine is enormous. Emigration in the early twentieth century saw at least four million Italians hit the shores of the United States, and since the two cuisines have been adequately integrated. This cookbook brilliantly celebrates Italian-American food rich in flavor and nostalgia.

There’s a recipe for everyone here whether it’s a family classic for bold pasta dishes or more creative meals like Pinwheel Lasagna and Shrimp Parm Meatballs. If you’re looking for a combination of flavors, try Ribs Glazed with Orange and Campari – a sweet and sticky flavour.

burger book

Amazon

Best for: burgers

If, like us, you’re feeling strong about creating the ultimate burger to rival Five Guys, this cookbook will excite those taste buds. Written by DJ BBQ, this cookbook is a comprehensive, dedicated guide to everything burger-related, from buns and stuffing to sauces and sides.

What we love about this book is that while all the recipes can be cooked on the barbecue, they can also just as easily be prepared indoors. So, if the weather isn’t stern, simply go indoors and cook just as many delicious meals.

The Happy American Cookbook: 200+ Easy, Modern Recipes

Amazon

Best for: An endless supply of recipes

With a whopping 200 recipes, this cookbook will teach you everything there is to know about American food. With extensive recipe collections on everything from sauces and soups to puddings and pies – mouthwatering dishes are plentiful. Those looking to eat healthy food without cutting out what they love will get a treat because this book has nutrition and health at its core.

Try the Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread With Vanilla Glaze for a simple but delicious dessert, or for those adventurous eaters looking to expand their color palette, try making Croquettes with Brazilian American Chicken and Honduran American Tacos.

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