Every wanderer needs a good cookbook. Not for the times when roaming from place to place, but for when the rigors of life call one home. A cookbook filled with culinary treasures from lands explored is a perfect companion to the restless soul bound to labor in his own kitchen.
Nothing transports your senses and enlivens your most cherished memories quite like crafting favorite dishes from adventures abroad.
For us, the cookbook we cannot live without is Alpine Flavours: Authentic recipes from the Dolomites, the heart of the Alps by Miriam Bacher and Franco Cogoli. When pining for the immensity of mountains and wild-hearted treks, we crack open this cultural gem and bring mountain-born goodness to life in our home.
The book beautifully captures the magic behind South Tyrolean specialties, entrees and desserts. From Speckknödel (bacon dumplings) to Schweinshaxe (pork shank) to Hirschgulasch (venison goulash) to an assortment of pastries and apple-filled deliciousness, it allow us to recreate the rich flavors and down-home spirit honed over centuries deep within the Dolomites.
If there is a cookbook every mountain lover should own this is it. After all, South Tyrol, Italy (also known as Alto Adige or Südtirol) is home to the world’s most tantalizing mountains; it’s no surprise its hearty cuisine offers equal enchantment.
Alpine Flavours not only explores traditional farm-to-table recipes along with well-matched wine pairings, but also carries you along a cultural journey with captivating images throughout. From front to back, the book is crafted like a perfectly plated dish. It could just as easily adorn your coffee table as it could your counter top.
While you can certainly browse directly to whatever dish tempts you at the moment, the book is best devoured one page at a time. If food provides a window into a region’s history, values and soul, Alpine Flavours gives you a sweeping view of the Italian Alps. You’ll come away with a historical foundation of South Tyrol’s cuisine. Not to mention a deep appreciation for how its rural heartiness has evolved into mountain recipes now revered. By the end, you’ll understand why South Tyrol is the culinary star of Italy — boasting more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other region of the country.
Meals in South Tyrol are broken into courses and by and large the book follows suit. Those who embrace slow travel and slow food will find this a much simpler transition than those accustomed to hurried meals and conversations. In South Tyrol, like much of Europe, mealtime is both an experience and an art form to appreciate and savor. If you long to harken back to a simpler time, Alpine Flavors can be your guide.
Those with talents less than average in the kitchen, will have have no problem finding dishes they can easily tackle. The book designates recipes by their level of difficulty — easy, medium and high. And at nearly 300 pages, you will not run out of recipes to attempt.
Bring Mountain Recipes to Life in Your Home
As raving fans of South Tyrol, we cannot recommend enough embarking on adventure in this mountainous jewel crowning northern Italy. Nothing will match the experience of savoring a mountain-to-table meal like sitting on the mountain where it was born.
But even if you don’t get the opportunity to make the trip to South Tyrol, Alpine Flavours is a cookbook that undoubtedly belongs on the shelf in your kitchen. Every nature lover, outdoorsman and foodie will find mountain recipes that will delight again and again. It’s an ideal gift for those drawn to rich, rugged heartiness.
Join us as we transform our kitchen into a rifugio (mountain hut). We’ll take you on a journey to new culinary heights all without setting foot on a mountain. Make no mistake though. If the mountain calls, go. Not even your appetite should get in the way of a breathtaking hike.
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