Travel stimulates the senses, and there is no more visceral sensory experience than the combination of taste and smell. Grilling over an open fire is the standard cooking style across much of the globe. Steven Raichlen's aptly named The Barbecue Bible brings that authentic experience to your home. I know of no other book that so comprehensively captures the varied and distinctive flavors of the world.
I've made dozens of recipes from this book (a series of books really), and I've never been disappointed. Until I discovered The Barbecue Bible I left the grilling to my wife. She thought I was missing a gene. Thanks to this series, the grill is now my domain exclusively. The stories behind most recipes make for good reading on their own merits.
Is there another type of travel writing that can bring home the cultural experience of exotic places more than a good cookbook?