Food: Cookbooks to Give Thanks For

An autumn harvest offers American standards, Asian flavors and universal inspiration

With restaurant fever still epidemic in the U.S. and the national passion for "take-out" almost as strong, it is a bit surprising -- and heartwarming -- that publishers keep investing in cookbooks. Clearly, they believe there are plenty of old-fashioned souls who persist in doing their own cooking, if not for workaday meals, then at least on weekends and for guests. In fact, that is the tone of this year's better cookbooks. They tend to emphasize dishes that are stylish and special, though without the fussiness seen in recent years.

American regional cooking remains well represented on the nation's bookshelves. But...

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