Street Food In Pictures

If it's not obvious yet, I'm obsessed with street food. To me, street food is where the essence of a culture can be found. While the high-end restaurants in every country can show off their finest, it's the home-cooked meals and vendor finds that can be a real window into a people and their daily lives.

I've been very fortunate to be able to travel to many places across the globe and I try to experience a particular city or country like a local does. All of the street food I've encountered inspired me a few years back write a cookbook in Swedish called Street Food, where I feature easy recipes inspired by street eats from all over the world. All of the photographs in the book were taken by my friend Paul Brissman and while you may not understand the text (unless you speak Swedish, of course), just the images alone are stunning and can motivate anyone to hit the road to try a new cuisine.

It's always thrilling to see new books that highlight just this type of food. Just the other day, the New York Times featured a new book by Jean-Francois Mallet entitled Take Away that features street eats from over 25 countries and took him 10 years to collect. As a chef and photographer, Jean-Francois captures these stunning images through a different view. With more than 375 photos of people, places and food, this book will no doubt make you salivate.

Check out our list below of other great street food books. But don't forget, the best part about reading about street food is actually going out and trying it!

Take Away by Jean-Francois Mallet: A stunning collection of 375 photos of Mallet's culinary travels throughout the world.

Lonely Planet: The World's Best Street Food by Lonely Planet: This cookbook offers 100 authentic street food recipes from all over the world. Best of all, it features a glossary of exotic ingredients and easy-to-find alternatives.

The World of Street Food by Troth Wells: Not only does Ms. Wells feature street food all the way from South America to the farthest Eastern corner of Asia, she also includes unique stories of how many of them came to be.

No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain: How can you not be a fan of Anthony and his efforts to bring light to different culinary cultures throughout the world? This book is more of a photo journal of his travels with a tidbit of commentary about a few countries, but the best part is a section dedicated to food porn with the majority consisting of street food.

Street Food by Marcus Samuelsson: My Swedish cookbook of recipes inspired by street food from all over the world.

What's your favorite street food?

For more on street food, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)