Food for Thought

Taste-test these bestselling titles, all available at Park Road Books, for a fresh take on a summer reading list—frozen margarita, optional.

Saladish: A Crunchier, Grainier, Herbier, Heartier, Tastier Way with Vegetables

By Ilene Rosen

Revamp your idea of the typical salad with these 80 one-bowl, simple dishes, categorized by season, that incorporate a wide range of ingredients and textures. Toasty Broccoli with Curry Leaves and Coconut? Yes, please. “It’s a new way working with vegetables,” says longtime Park Road Books staffer Sherri Smith (Artisan Books, $24.95).

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

By Samin Nosrat

Readers are raving about this new get-smart kitchen guide, chock-full of colorful illustrations. Learn why salt affects flavor, why fat impacts texture, why acid alters taste, and why heat changes a food’s consistency (Simon & Schuster, $35).

Distilling the South: A Guide to Southern Craft Liquors and the People Who Make Them

By Kathleen Purvis

Follow longtime Charlotte Observer food editor Kathleen Purvis as she chronicles the craft-liquor movement across 11 Southern states. The guide features trail maps, a complete listing of distilleries by territory, drink recipes and the stories behind the people who craft them (University of North Carolina Press, $30).

Southern from Scratch: Pantry Essentials and Down-Home Recipes

By Ashley English

Ever eyed local ingredients at the farmers market but didn’t know what to do with them? These 50 recipes offer a fresh take on well-known Southern favorites, holding your hand as you turn pork from a local farm into Pork Meatballs with a Muscadine Glaze. “It took some traditional southern ideas and staples and mixed them up, like bacon popcorn,” says James Brewster of Park Road Books (Roost Books, $35).

The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats

By Daniel Stone

Nineteenth-century botanist-turned-explorer David Fairchild traveled to more than 50 countries and five continents to show the American farmer that food was about enjoyment, not just subsistence. Thanks to Fairchild—who faced everything from arrest to disease—we have mangoes (from India), kale (from Croatia), pomegranates (from Malta), and many other finds (Penguin, $28).

Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine

By Edward Lee

Korean immigrant Edward Lee saw how culinary traditions were getting lost in the American landscape. Travel with Lee across the U.S. as he helps immigrants recreate the original tastes—and stories—of their homeland (Artisan Books, $27.50).

Photos by Catrina Earls Photography