It’s almost a universally accepted truth that no one can mess with grandma’s cooking. In interviewing food luminaries about the dishes that shaped their career, we’ve found that even the most accomplished chefs look to their bube, nonna, or mawaw for inspiration. And around the world, it’s the grandmas who preserve the soul of regional cuisines, cooking by feel rather than checking Epicurious for a ravioli recipe.
But even though your grandma is obviously the G.O.A.T., it pays to take cues from the global population of grans, especially when they’re cooking stuff that your own has never even heard of. That’s why I love the Delicatessen series from photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who has traveled the globe shooting photos of grandmas alongside their signature dishes—and, most impressively, persuading them to divulge the recipes.
Here’s a little background on the project from his site:
Appealing to their natural cooking care and their inevitable pride in their best recipe, common factors to all grandmothers in the world, Gabriele persuaded them to do their best in the kitchen. This means moose stake in Alaska and caterpillars in Malawi, delicious, but ferociously hot, ten-spice-curry in India and sharks soup in the Philippines. He has come back with a cookery book of detailed recipes that mix love, photography and travel amongst the many exotic ingredients. Indeed, each for each grandmother he has produced a portrait of the cook, and easy to follow recipe and an image of the extraordinary and at times mouthwatering final dish.