This is one of the most fascinating reference books I've stumbled upon in a long time. The 6700 plus entries cover everything imaginable used in food preparation. Most are non-English in origin, but a good phonetic translation is provided. The terms are not just European; this book is loaded with Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and regional U.S. terms. The descriptions may run to several paragraphs- much more than a dictionary provides- though many of these words are too obscure to appear in any other source. Furthermore, it's compact enough to be carried in a coat pocket or handbag. If you eat in foreign restaurants even occasionally, this book will pay for itself in a month. (Your waiter will not know how most of these dishes are made.) It is not a recipe book, but it contains every culinary term that has ever seen print. If you are a novice in the kitchen, you may learn what many cookbooks assume you understand. Also, the appendix is loaded with all sorts of useful metrics... read more
Comprehensive food dictionary, but not as up-to-date as it could be.
By AlexanderBanning - January 8, 2008
This reference has been lauded in many venues, and it truly is a fascinating resource. However, after spending time examining the book (4th ed., 2007), I am noticing several entries that are out-of-date. For example, the entry on brains does not mention mad cow disease. In contrast, the latest _Joy of Cooking_ (2006) not only notes this, it also warns readers to avoid eating brains for that reason. As another example, several entries in the bibliography refer to older editions of books that now have recognized newer editions. Take, for example, the listing of _La Methode_ and _La Technique_, both by Jacques Pepin. These two works have been combined and published as _Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques_. As a third example, the appendix on food label terms does not list trans fats in the listing of different fats found on food labels. All of these examples make me wonder about things I haven't caught. I hope that all of this information is updated and corrected in a fifth edition.
Amazingly comprehensive resource for people interested in food and cooking
By DZ - October 12, 2008
I purchased the first edition of this book almost 20 years ago and found it to be an amazing resource that I continued to use to the present day. I recently thought to myself, "I wonder if they have updated it since then?" Well, I checked Amazon, and the authors indeed have updated it (currently 4th edition). This new version is literally twice the size of the original book, which already seemed comprehensive. Of course, there have been new trends, fads, and other developments since the early 1990s and the Herbsts have addressed them.
Whenever I hear about a fruit or spice or dish that I never heard of before, the first thing I do is check the book! I have moved around to different parts of the US and as I discover regional delicacies, the book is a great resource to learn more about them. I highly recommend it.
More than a million English-speaking visitors descend on Florence annually, but few venture beyond the usual circuit of tourist restaurants to experience authentic Tuscan cuisine. This updated guide ...
The book of record of the time capsule of cupaloy, deemed capable of resisting the effects of time for five thousand years, preserving an account of universal achievements, embedded in the grounds of ...