Edible Reads: Small Plates and Sweet Treats
When Basque blogger and trained pastry chef, Aran Goyoaga began penning her well-received blog, Cannelle et Vanille, in 2008, it was clear that she had a talent for unique recipes, a flair for writing and a photographer's eye. Following a bout of illness, she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2010. After that, she changed her approach to cooking for both herself and her family – who also tested gluten intolerant.
Her newly released and inaugural cookbook, Small Plates and Sweet Treats is as delightful to read and gaze at as it is practical and useful for those of us who cook and live gluten free. Being a bit biased, given my own Basque heritage, I particularly love her childhood anecdotes of growing up in the Basque Country that are woven throughout the book, bringing the pages and dishes to life. It's enjoyable to read about the love Aran has for real food and the immeasurable impact that her grandparents had on her connection to the land and seasons.
Not by coincidence, the unique selling point of this particular gluten free cookbook is how it's arranged by season, beginning with autumn. Recipes are meant to be served in smaller portions just like the pintxos or small plates you find in many restaurants throughout the Basque Country. The sweet treats section of her book is an adaptation of Aran's favorite desserts, filled with varying textures and flavors that showcase her classic pastry chef training.
As a home cook who has celiac disease, I've found Small Plates and Sweet Treats to be a refreshing take on gluten free cookbooks with more of an emphasis on fresh foods and flavors, allowing readers to feel they aren't being held back by food restrictions; rather, they can explore the seasons with a renewed sense of cooking adventure.