Spanish cookbooks

Time Out reviews the best new Spanish recipe books to bring sunshine to your suppers

1080 Recipes

Phaidon, £24.95

Buy this cookbook

In Britain we have ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’ (and latterly ‘Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course’); in France it’s the ‘Larousse Gastronomique’; in Italy ‘Il Cucchiaio d’Argento’ (‘The Silver Spoon’).

These are the exhaustive manuals of everyday cooking, the books handed down from generation to generation, covering everything from boiled eggs to fillet steaks, fish stews to chocolate mousse, and all sorts in between.

Following the success of its 2005 English edition of ‘The Silver Spoon’, Phaidon, the celebrated art publisher, is bringing out a translation of the Spanish equivalent, written more than 30 years ago. Much like the Italian tome, it contains a vast arsenal of recipes and techniques organised by main ingredient, as well as potted digressions on various subjects and bonus recipes from celebrity chefs at the end.

As you’d expect given the book’s age, there’s none of the fancy frolics associated with Spanish nueva cocina here; moreover, some readers may be surprised that most of the recipes have nothing to do with the exported clichés of Spanish food (although there are recipes for those things, too).

But this is a faithful portrait of what Spain’s food has always been about: good ingredients and simple cooking. Anyone who loves gastropub grub will find plenty of rustic treats to take their fancy here. The book’s beautifully presented and, considering the sheer number of recipes, very reasonably priced.

Andrew Staffell

Buy this cookbook