What You Must Know Before
Buying Soul Food Cookbooks

Key Ingredients To Consider Before You Buy A Cookbook

Soul food cookbooks are key to learning to cook with soul.  African American cuisine has never been more popular.  As a result, many book authors have capitalized on this popularity by publishing a plethora ofsoul food niche cookbooks.  One word of caution is that buyers should beware. 

You don't necessarily get what you pay for, because all cook books are not created equally.

Which brings me to the point of what constitutes a good cook book that's worthy of your hard earned dollars?  

Purchasing cookbooks written for soul food lovers is really no different than buying any other cookbook.  

However there are some key ingredients that you must consider.  If you want a workable cook book that you can use more that occasionally you must do a little research before making that purchase.

It's my humble opinion that you should consider the following points before spending your hard earned money on that new cook book.

  • You want a cookbook that talks to your level of experience
  • Choose a cookbook with terminology you understand
  • The Cookbook should have useable recipes

Choose A Cook Book That's Suits Your Level Of Experience

Are you a savvy cooker?  Do you consider yourself an advanced or professional cook?  Or maybe you're a beginner or novice cook, just looking to experiment and cook up some delicious dishes?  The bottom line up front is to choose a cook book that's tailored to your experience level (beginner, advanced or professional).

Here is a case in point, for the advanced or professional cook.  You blindly select a cookbook with little or no research.  The book arrives by express mail the next day.  You open up the book and find simple recipes, with step-by-step instruction and illustrations for every step  of the cooking process.  The advanced or professional cook will surely be disappointed with these finding.

The opposite is true for the beginner or novice cook.  You want to test the water with simple recipes that have step-by-step instruction, illustrations  and explanation for unfamiliar cooking processes and techniques.  Don't think this is the case?  Nothing is more frustrating than trying to follow a recipe and not having a good understanding of the cooking terminology being used.


Test Your Cooking Knowledge

A. Cook food in a liquid at a very low temprature
B. Cook food in a liquid at a low enough temperature that small bubble begin to break the surface
C. Cook food in liquid at a temperature that is close to a boil

The Cookbook Should Be Written With Clarity

The demographics of the traditional cook have changed drastically. Long gone are the days when mothers and grandma's passed down their cooking knowledge to soon to be wives. Today women and men alike find themselves spending a considerably amount of time working outside of the home. You also have more men cooking up good home cooking.

Nowadays, we encourage our children to get a good education in order to become doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. This new shift in the kitchen has left many people ill prepared to deal with working in the kitchen. Obviously this new emphasis diminishes our ability to prepare anything other than the basics.

Based on the new demographics of the American cook it is important to choose a soul food cookbook that caters to the new needs of the average cook. Unless you're one of the select few who have been groomed or have attended a culinary school, you will need a book that speaks crystal clear. That's a cookbook that talks to you in a simple to follow and understandable format.

No need to be alarmed some book publishers understand the new need and have taken action. I just want you to understand that you don't have to settle for a cookbook that is beyond comprehension. Look for the book with simple easy to follow instructions and illustrations and you'll be okay.

Choose A Cookbook With Recipes You Can Use Yeararound

Today most cookbooks are theme based. These theme based recipe books may not contain recipes that you would consider using year-round. For instance some example theme based recipe books include:

  • Diabetic Recipes
  • Barbecue Recipes
  • Fundraiser Recipes
  • Low fat Recipes
  • Holiday Recipes

Just by looking a these four examples you can easily see how you can easily limit yourself to a soul food cookbook with not many usable recipes.

Let's say you choose the Holiday recipe book. This cookbooks theme is based around the Christmas Holiday. The recipe book with work well for Christmas dinner but you would lose practical application the rest of the year.

What would you have done if you'd selected the low fat recipe book? You would probably have made you New Years resolution to cook healthier meals. You probably would use the low fat cookbook for a week or two then toss it out the window for your more traditional soul food recipe book.

The path I want to lead you down is to always select a cookbook that has many recipes that you can use year-round. However there is on caveat. If you're an avid collect it may be worth the cost to by cookbooks with only one or two recipes you plan to use.

Some Final Thoughts

Trust me, the time spent doing a little research will be well worth your efforts. Not only will you find soul food cookbooks suitable to your personal needs, you'll cook up some delicious ethnic recipes for years to come.


Look here for reviews of popular soul food cookbooks
FREE Cook Book Downloads
The Best Food and Wine Magazines
Or Join Black Expressions African American Book Club

Return from to Soul Food Cookbooks to Soul Food Recipes

Facebook Comments

Be a friend and provide a comment if you think this website or a specific recipe has been useful.