How to cook like a Calabrese: 5 must have cookbooks

How to cook like a Calabrese: 5 must have cookbooks

I love food, ideally Italian food and in particular Calabrese food.  It’s one of the reasons I first came to Italy and one of the things I fell in love with upon arriving here.  I love how it is the focal point of life and how all of life’s problems can be sorted out around the kitchen table no matter how big, personal or seemingly unresolvable.  In Calabria food is king so here are the 5 best cookbooks to teach you how to cook like a Calabrese.

While every region boasts its food as the best in the country the food in the South is spectacular.  It’s a combination of the sunny climate, fertile land and diverse terrain which combines to make ideal conditions for growing delicious produce which even in the most simple of recipes can make mouth-watering meals.  If you visit the region, and by now you know I think you absolutely must, make sure you try some of these Calabrese dishes.  But even better, why not try and make them for yourself? I love cooking and here are a few of the Calabrese cookbooks that I think are a must in any Italophile’s kitchen.

All opinions are purely my own and I sadly have not received any bribes or payment (monetary or food items) for this post!


My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy’s Undiscovered South

As well as being packed full of fantastic recipes, this book contains gorgeous photography that makes you feel as though you are sitting in her kitchen. What’s really special about this cookbook though are the personal stories that pepper the recipes, even if you don’t decide to cook anything you’ll certainly enjoy the rich family history that unfolds on each page.  My Calabria puts ‘family’ into family cooking.


Calabria in Cucina: The Flavours of Calabria

This Calabrese cookbook offers not just the possibility to improve your cooking but also your Italian as it is presented as a multilingual recipe book with both the Italian and English translations sitting together.  Though it features as part of a series of regions “in cucina”, don’t let that put you off as it offers some classic recipes with a beautiful historical context.  You’ll also stumble upon some lesser known recipes which are sure to get your tastebuds tingling.

My Calabria is served

Written by a Calabrese who moved away, the passion this lady demonstrates for not only the food but also Calabria is evident on every page.  Quick, easy to follow recipes with delicious results.  Not the most extensive Calabrese cookbook but definitely worth a read.

Southern Italian Desserts

When I first moved to Italy I must admit I thought it was miles behind England on the dessert front. After all, we are kings of sugar, aren’t we? However, it didn’t take me long to realise how wrong I was and now several years and many kilos later I am a true dessert addict.  This recipe book showcases some of Southern Italy’s sweetest sweets.  Not for the faint-hearted, if you’re new to the baking world I’d suggest sticking to looking at the pictures, but if you are a mean whisk wielder, get stuck in!


The Food and Cooking of Sicily

Do not let the title put you off! This book contains over 65 recipes from Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, and Sicily. In other words, the best of the South.  Easy to make and easy on those who are watching their waists (which is no small feat for fans of Italian cooking) you will find lots of delicious recipes here which are perfect to add to your repertoire!

Do you think I’ve missed any? If you hold any other Calabrese cookbooks in pride of place on your bookshelf, leave me a comment and let me know.  Happy cooking!

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