Church cookbooks were once so common, they were considered unremarkable. Living in the South, I know the scene well — Ladies League recipe pamphlets and community cookbooks litter the shelves of thrift stores. Yet the best food writers seek these records out, both as a means of preservation and as a way to gain insight on recipes that truly tell the stories of regional foodways and the cuisines of other cultures.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when, in researching Greek recipes for tzatziki, Greek dressing, and Greek salad, I found that a Church cookbook would be one of the most recommended, well-loved, and trusted resources. The Complete Book of Greek Cooking by the Recipe Club of Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral is a compilation of two previous best-sellers with a rich history of over 50 years of women cooking and recording the recipes of their heritage.