Book Review: The Washington Post Cookbook

Title: The Washington Post Cookbook
Author: Edited by Bonnie S. Benwich
Format: e-ARC from NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Did I like it: Yes!

This cookbook pulls together readers favorite recipes from the Washington Post’s food section. Recipes were either recommended by readers or culled from the four and five star rated recipes in the paper’s Recipe Finder, leading to a well rounded cookbook.

I loved that each recipe included a note about when the recipe was published, as well as a quick introduction to the recipe’s history. It’s fascinating to see the change in food trends over the years, and sometimes there’s a bit of a surprise when you see a recipe’s year (the Chopped Liver recipe was published in 2004! Personally, I thought it would have been much older.) This is one of those cookbooks that a home cook could use to actually cook meals (not always the case!), but it’s also interesting enough to read cover to cover. Since many of these recipes were published more than 5 years ago, they come with some fun notes on history, like where the chef now works or when a certain restaurant closed. The most fun backstory is for Misery Meatloaf, which comes from Cooking with Friends, a cookbook based on the TV show full of recipes developed by Jack Bishop from America’s Test Kitchen! (We watch ATK and Cook’s Country religiously. Mostly because we like making fun of Chris Kimball.) The most unusual recipe that I saw was the Beer Omelet (which came from a home cook, the Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and was published in 1972).

I really loved flipping through this book and I’ll definitely be adding it to my wish list for my personal collection! Probably my only complaint is there there isn’t much linking the recipes together, apart from being published in the Washington Post at some point. This isn’t really a complaint (or at least a legitimate complaint), but it’s something to keep in mind. With all the themed books released lately, a great cookbook covering a variety of cuisine is a nice change.

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