Red Sands: Reportage and Recipes Through Central Asia, from Hinterland to Heartland, by Caroline Eden, Quadrille, RRP£26, 320 pages

Following her highly successful Black Sea, Eden continues her explorations, not just of fascinating and often under-reported places, but also of the boundaries between reportage, travel and food. There is nobody writing about food at the moment who’s committed to this level of immersion and it rings out in every line.

The Noble Rot Book: Wine from Another Galaxy, by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, Quadrille, RRP£30, 352 pages

An entirely new sort of wine book, devoid of stuffiness and presented in what I can only describe as ‘haute fanzine’ style. Incredibly informative, slays quite a few sacred cows and, in the very best way, will drive you to drink.

The Pie Room — 80 achievable and show-stopping pies and sides for pie lovers everywhere, by Calum Franklin, Bloomsbury, RRP£26/$30, 288 pages

Franklin is effectively London’s high-priest of pie. In this new ‘bible’ the chef generously lays out many of his recipes, tricks, techniques and occasional voodoo spells in a way that makes them accessible and frankly essential to chefs, enthusiasts and home cooks.

Best Books of the Year 2020

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Business by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Wednesday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Thursday: History by Tony Barber
Friday: Critics’ choice
Saturday: Crime by Barry Forshaw

Dumplings and Noodles: Bao, Gyoza, Biang Biang, Ramen — and Everything in Between, by Pippa Middlehurst, Quadrille, RRP£16.99, 192 pages

Originally a food blogger, Middlehurst has parlayed her fascination for dumplings and noodles into an obsession, an incredible amount of research and ultimately, a comprehensive, friendly and engaging book. One for the kitchen reference shelf.

The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes, by Nik Sharma, Chronicle Books, RRP£28.99, 352 pages

With a background as a food photographer and training as a scientist, Sharma has finally undertaken the vital task of unifying the science elements of “molecular gastronomy” with real cooking. This is not a book about water baths and spherification, but it connects the science behind them with recipes for use outside of restaurant kitchens.

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