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On The Hob: 81 Celtic Cookbooks

Na Déithe libh mo chairde,

A smashing “Ballymaloe Chicken Pie”, from Myrtle Allen’s Cooking at Ballymaloe House

Foods of the Celtic nations have been increasing in popularity. Where to find recipes? There are myriad blogs and books presenting everything from “neo-Celtic” haute cuisine to urban fusion styles and ubiquitous British empire dishes, and then there are traditional culinary ways persisting most strongly among the folk of the countryside. I love it all, but if I had to choose, gimme dat ole time flavor! Now, I may pass on a bowl of sheep’s head soup, but I can appreciate a savory Burns Nicht haggis, and colcannon is one of my favorite comfort foods. The characteristic flavors and techniques of traditional Celtic culinaria are unfussy, fresh, local, and seasonal.

As a self-styled “home chef”, my kitchen library includes the following list of 81 Celtic cookbooks. Although some are historical surveys rather than cookbooks per se, I have read and can recommend every title on this list. They cover the entire range of culinary styles from haute to traditional, and even ancient (see Bricriu’s Feast). Copies of all the books on the list below can be found through online booksellers such as Abebooks, Thriftbooks, Half Price Books, and Amazon.

In addition to cookbooks, here are three fun and informative online resources for recipes:

The Wee Larder: A website and Youtube channel on Scottish foods and culture.

Irish-American Mom: A website and blog on Irish foods and culture.

The Celtic Caterer: Youtube channel of Chef Eric McBride specializing in Celtic cuisines.


~ Reverend Erika Rivertree

A Compendium of Celtic Cookbooks:

  1. A Taste of Ireland, Theodora FitzGibbon

  2. A Taste of Scotland, Theodora FitzGibbon

  3. A Taste of Wales, Theodora FitzGibbon

  4. A Taste of the West Country, Theodora FitzGibbon

  5. The Scots Kitchen, F. Marian MacNeil

  6. The Scots Cellar, F. Marian MacNeil

  7. A Feast of Scotland, Janet Warren

  8. Modern Ways with Traditional Scottish Recipes, Rosalie Gow

  9. Maw Broon’s Cookbook

  10. Maw Broon’s Afternoon Tea Book

  11. Maw Broon’s But an’ Ben Cookbook

  12. Hebridean Cookbook, Lillian Beckwith

  13. Recipes from the Orkney Isles, Eileen Wolfe

  14. An Orkney Feast, Alan Bichan

  15. A Shetland Cookbook, Jennin Simmons

  16. Land of Milk & Honey: The Story of Traditional Irish Food & Drink, Bríd Mahon

  17. Ireland’s Green Larder: The Definitive History of Irish Food and Drink, Brid Mahon

  18. A Little History of Irish Food, Regina Sexton

  19. The Art of Irish Cooking, Monica Sheridan

  20. The Ballymaloe Cookbook, Myrtle Allen

  21. Myrtle Allen’s Cooking at Ballymaloe House

  22. The Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking, Darina Allen

  23. The Festive Food of Ireland, Darina Allen

  24. The Cookin’ Woman: Irish Country Recipes, Florence Irwin

  25. A Trifle, A Coddle, A Fry: An Irish Literary Cookbook, Veronica Jane O’Mara and Fionnuala O’Reilly

  26. The Irish Heritage Cookbook, Biddy White Lennon and Gerogina Campbell

  27. Delights of Ireland, Helen Walsh

  28. Teatime in Ireland, Margaret M. Johnson

  29. Favourite Irish Teatime Recipes, Francis S. Walker

  30. Irish Teatime Companion, Conrad Jay Bladey

  31. A Decent Cup of Tea, Malachi McCormick

  32. Irish Country Cooking, Malachi McCormick

  33. Irish Cooking Bible, Pil Publications International

  34. Feasting Galore: Recipes and Food Lore from Ireland, Mayra Laverty

  35. Traditional Irish Recipes, John Murphy

  36. Traditional Irish Recipes, George L Thomson

  37. Irish Farmhouse Recipes, Mac Publications

  38. Irish Vegetarian Cookery, Patrick Cotter

  39. The Irish Pub Cookbook, Margaret M. Johnson

  40. The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook, Paragon Books Ltd

  41. The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook, Kay Shaw Nelson

  42. The Scenic Manx Cookbook, Fannag Press

  43. The Vintage Manx Cookbook, Robert Charles Phillips

  44. First Catch Your Peacock: A Book of Welsh Food, Benny Freeman

  45. Lamb, Leeks, and Laverbread: The Best of Welsh Cookery, Gilli Davies

  46. Welsh Recipes, John Jones Cardiff Ltd

  47. Welsh Recipes with Herbs and Spices, John Jones Cardiff Ltd

  48. A Book of Welsh Country Cakes and Buns, Bobby Freeman

  49. The Welsh Dresser: More Recipes from Wales, Sian Llewelyn

  50. Cornish Recipes, Ann Pascoe

  51. The Pasty Book, Hettie Merrick

  52. Loving Breton Cuisine, Joseph Thorel

  53. Cape Breton Pictorial Cookbook, Warren Gordon and Yvonne Le Vert

  54. Celtic Folklore Cooking, Joanne Asala

  55. New Celtic Cooking, Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh and Ted McIntosh

  56. Celtic Cuisine, Gilli Davies

  57. Celtic Cookbook, Helen Smith-Tweedy

  58. From Celtic Hearths, Deborah Krasner

  59. Celtic Tea with Friends, Elizabeth Knight

  60. The Book of Bere, Liz Ashworth

  61. From Petticoat Tails to Arbroath Smokies: Traditional Foods of Scotland, Laura Mason and Catherine Brown

  62. Scottish Cookery, Catherine Brown

  63. Strong Tea, John B. Keane

  64. The Hebridean Kitchen, Willie Fulton

  65. The Shetland Cookery Book, Margaret B. Stout

  66. A Caledonian Feast, Annette Hope

  67. Traditional Recipes From Scotland, Janet Murray

  68. Traditional Scots Recipes With A Fine Feeling For Food, Janet Murray

  69. Bricriu’s Feast: An Inquiry Into the Diet and Cooking Techniques of the Early Medieval Irish, Morgan Smith

  70. The Scottish Cookery Book, Elizabeth Craig

  71. Gourmet Recipes From A Highland Hotel, William Heptinstall

  72. Orkney Spirit: Food Journeys With Liz Ashworth, Liz Ashworth

  73. Recipes of the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, An Comunn Gaidhealach

  74. Cook and Housewife’s Manual, Mistress Margaret Dods

  75. Grampian Cookbook, Gladys Menhinick

  76. Welsh Fare: A Selection of Traditional Recipes, S. Minwel Tibbott

  77. The Book of Breakfasts, F. Marian McNeill

  78. The Art of Scottish-American Cooking, Kay Shaw Nelson

  79. The Scottish Vegan Cookbook, Jackie Jones

  80. A Year In A Scots Kitchen, Catherine Brown

  81. The Scot And His Oats, G.W. Lockhart

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