A great way to experience a different culture is by tasting their cuisine. We are fortunate to have restaurants and groceries in the Cleveland area allowing us to try authentic cuisine from a variety of countries. Westlake Porter Public Library also has an extensive cookbook section with recipes from different countries.

This post has a small selection of books with accompanying recipes. Our first recipes are from Plant Powered Mexican by Kate Ramos.

Plant Powered Mexican

The Cilantro Lime Slaw is a great addition to a summer meal. It is refreshing and easy to assemble. The Oven-Baked Garlic-Cilantro Rice is another easy side dish. The cilantro and vegetable broth added to the rice impart so much flavor. You could have this rice with a side of black beans for a nice light weeknight meal.

Lebanese Home Cooking

The following recipe for Turmeric Cake is from Lebanese Home Cooking by Kamal Mouzawak. It is a cake with few ingredients and seems simple to make. The flavor of the cake seemed to be as described, but the texture was very dense. I would recommend using an electric mixer and beating the cake batter to incorporate more air before baking. The almonds add a nice crunch to the top of the cake.

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook

The next recipe is oven baked potatoes from My Big Fat Greek Cookbook by Christos Sourligas and Evdokia Antginas. They are easy to make, flavorful, and are a perfect side dish to almost any meal.

Japanese Pickled Vegetables

This side dish is from the cookbook Japanese Pickled Vegetables by Machiko Tateno. This curried pickled cauliflower would make a great side dish and also a perfect addition to a charcuterie board. It is simple to make and keeps well in the refrigerator.

Fresh from Poland

This recipe is Cocoa-Chile Cake with Chocolate Frosting (Ciasto czekoladowe z chili) from the cookbook Fresh from Poland. This cake is the perfect sweet and spicy dessert. It is more of a dense cake, similar to a brownie. Be sure to add a side of frosting. If you don’t like the spice you can eliminate the chili flakes.

While it is impossible to try all the different cookbooks and recipes, hopefully this gives you an idea of what Westlake Porter Public Library has to offer. As a home cook , a little inspiration can go a long way. You could start themed dinners for your family and get the kids involved with the meal preparation.

Join us September 10-16, 2023, for Welcoming Week at WPPL with events and more aimed at building strong connections with neighbors of all backgrounds. The week culminates with the Community Welcome Fair featuring local groups sharing their stories, traditions and food.

Read more blog posts about the ways Ohio, Westlake, and your local library are welcoming everyone to the community.