Nothing stokes your appetite or desire for a big cooking project like digging into these great culinary must-reads. Whether you’re looking to dive deep into the long and storied world of cheese, take a peek into the award-winning kitchens of molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne or get really, really geeky, we’ve got a book list for you. They’re not all cookbooks (and even the cookbooks aren’t necessarily cookbooks per se) but they’re all packed with brand-new information that will surprise and delight you.

Recipe Shorts By Andrea Stewart

Short is the new long, when it comes to recipes that is. Use a combination of good old-fashioned intuitive know-how and delightfully brief suggestions from Recipe Shorts, a new kind of cookbook from food editor, author and entrepreneur Andrea Stewart. Follow your instincts and just enough of Stewart’s advice, and enjoy a quick, simple dinner you made almost entirely on the fly!

If you’re not craving the sharpest Cheddar you can find by the end of this, there’s something wrong with you.

The Book Of Cheese by Liz Thorpe

Cheese expert and Murray’s Cheese alum Liz Thorpe is the queen of the stuff. In The Book of Cheese, she maps out all the a brand new way of understanding cheese: Gateways. Instead of categorizing by region or milk type, Thorpe groups like-minded cheeses. Are you a fan of taleggio? Try the Red Hawk. Read this book, go beyond bries and goats and get to know Cheddar like never before.

The Geeky Chef Strikes Back
(Photo: The Geeky Chef)Chimicherrychangas from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a must-watch for fans of ponies, friendship and magic.

The Geeky Chef Strikes Back by Cassandra Reeder

There are plenty of cookbooks out there based on fantasy — novels, movies, video games, table-top role playing games involving dungeons and/or dragons. The possibilities are endless. Everyone’s gotta eat, right? Can’t have a fantasy world without some fuel. Cassandra Reeder, better known as blogger The Geeky Chef, is the mistress of the culinary underbellies of these bastions of make-believe. Her newest cookbook, The Geeky Chef Strikes Back is a follow-up to her eponymous 2015 book, and a deep dive into some of the nerdiest delights around.

History Of Chile Con Queso
Do you know how chile con queso originated? Dip on into this essential knowledge!

Queso! by Lisa Fain

There’s a very good reason there’s an exclamation point at the end of Homesick Texan Lisa Fain’s new cookbook, Queso! It’s hard not to say it without, well, exclaiming! If there’s one dish in the Texas repertoire to be truly excited about, it’s queso. This book has every recipe — plus some essential knowledge — you could ever need to become a true master. Take it one step further and learn the history of chile con queso before you dip your next chip.

Deep-Fry Mayonnaise
This savory deep-fried mayo cube is just waiting to be pierced by a fork.

wd~50: The Cookbook by Wylie Dufresne

Take a peek into the wild kitchens and labs of renowned chef and molecular gastronomy master Wylie Dufresne, with wd-50: The Cookbook. While you won’t find any quick and easy dinners in this formidable tome, make sure to pick it up if you’re looking to break into the science of his stunning dishes (or simply wish to admire them at length). Ever wonder how to deep-fry mayonnaise the Dufresne way?

michael harlan turkell
Join author Michael Harlan Turkell as he journeys around the world of vinegar.

Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell

Award-winning food photographer and writer Michael Harlan Turkell’s new book takes you on a trip so powerful your head will spin (with gustatory delight, that is). Acid Trip chronicles Turkell’s extensive study of vinegar, an element in nearly every ethnic cuisine. Vinegar has been used as a seasoning and preserving agent for thousands of years, and we’re hard-pressed to think of a better deep-dive for the tart-loving food nerd. Ever wonder where balsamic vinegar comes from?

Slow Cooker Commandments
Martha Stewart is a slow cooker fanatic — learn her ways and use them forever.

Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker by the editors of Martha Stewart Living

You can rely on Martha Stewart for all things home and garden, and her cookbooks are no exception. Her latest, Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker, is packed with everything you need to utilize this amazingly versatile kitchen appliance to the best of its myriad abilities. Before you fire it up and get cooking, make sure you read Martha’s slow cooker commandments.

Cheers To The Publican
Cheers to the Publican! Book a table on your next trip to the Windy City.

Cheers To The Publican, Repast And Present by Paul Kahan, Cosmo Goss and Rachel Holtzman

We’re massive fans of award-winning Chicago chef Paul Kahan’s new cookbook, Cheers to the Publican, out now. Beyond the sublime recipes selected from the Publican’s meaty repertoire, however, we couldn’t help noticing the delightful poems at the beginning of each chapter. They’re homages to the ingredients at hand, odes to the glories of harmonious flavors and beautiful works of literature unto themselves. Here are a few of our favorites, but pick up a copy of your own and read them all! Oh, and make the recipes too.