The Toronto Public Library is an under-appreciated food resource, in my opinion. Every amateur cook I know complains (half-heartedly) about their over-filled shelves of cookbooks. Each collection includes several cookbooks received as gifts or bought on impulse that might have been used a couple times but now just gather dust. Like other books, cookbooks are part of the growing trend of digitization but because a kitchen isn’t the most Kindle-friendly environment I think they still have relatively more utility. Why buy and shelve a cookbook when it can be borrowed and taken for a test-drive for free?
Seasonal or holiday cookbooks are particularly good candidates for a planned library borrowing session. References for project cooking like Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie are probably worth a spot in the permanent collection, though. Some of these experiments can run longer than the three-week borrowing period and popular books tend to be un-renewable. The library’s website (link: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/) allows patrons to search the collection and place books on hold (for pickup at any of the library’s branches) from any computer.
Right now my food-related checkouts are: Mouth Wide Open: a cook and his appetite by John Thorne, 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes, Mediterranean Street Food: stories, soups, snacks, sandwiches, barbecues, sweets, and more, from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East by Anissa Helou, French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David, and Corked: a memoir by Kathryn Borel.
Written by David Ort
As one of Spotlight’s contributing editors, David enjoys turning his mind (and keyboard) to a wide variety of topics ranging from recipes to restaurants to craft beer. When he’s not writing for Spotlight Toronto, David shares his thoughts on new restaurants and beer at PostCity.com and all things food and drink on his own site, Food With Legs.