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LUNCH WITH THE LIBRARY: Around the World, One Taste at a Time

AtoZ recipe and food interest database introduced for library members

Kelly Carlson |

FOOD FROM A TO Z. A to Z World Food, a huge database chockfull of recipes and information about more than 170 countries. (Photo via Unsplash)
FOOD FROM A TO Z. A to Z World Food is a huge database chockful of recipes and information about more than 170 countries. (Photo via Unsplash)

AtoZ is L.E. Phillips Memorial Library’s newest free database for all Eau Claire library card holders, and it's a yummy one. 

“It is a database prepared by World Trade Press (WTP),” Anna Zook, Reference and Digital Services Librarian and L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, said. “It provides recipes, food culture, and really interesting trivia for 174 countries from around the world.”

With more than 7,000 recipes, the database features an interactive map to easily choose any country you want and to learn all about their food culture, etiquette, and taste.

Through food, this database introduces knowledge about different cultures and acts as a connecting unit between people of different backgrounds. “We have so many different cultures in our community,” Zook said. And, for travelers, this gives tips for eating etiquette in other countries.

You can use the search function to search for recipes, or select your dietary restrictions (for vegetarians, gluten-free folks, halal recipes, and more) to filter through options. “It also explains the reasons and philosophies behind eating halal (for example), so it opens people’s eyes who may not know,” Zook said. “The more we know about other people, the less likely we are to look at them as scary or strange. It increases understanding.”

It also features simple lessons for beginner chefs, like “how to break down an entire kitchen or how to chop fresh cilantro,” Zook said. Zook emphasized how easy and user-friendly the database is, aiming to bring new life to people’s food from anywhere in the world. “Right now, I think that it is really important when we have been isolated for so many years… [to engage with] each other on a feeling level,” Zook stated. “This is a great conversation starter and could be used for people to start clubs or just try something new.”

Recipes the library recommends so far? The sweet peanut and rice pad Thai from Thailand, or the stuffed peppers recipe from Albania.

Access the database at the library or at home with your 10-digit Eau Claire library card and explore your library’s other free services at