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Question about of Joy of Cooking

  • t

My puppy ate Fanny Farmer, so I think this is a good excuse to replace FF with the Joy of Cooking. I've read several postings here about different editions. Which edition should I get? Thanks

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  1. are you looking for a new copy? If so, your only choice will be the current version that you find in bookstores. Maybe you can get an unused older copy... not sure where. Certainly you can find older versions at specialty used bookstores or online.

    But, frankly, I have the new, current version and I like it very much. My guess is that the older versions are good for very specific recipes that have either changed, or more likely, weren't included in the current version. Not sure what those would be though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: adamclyde

      Actually, the prior edition is usually available in bookstores, new but in a smaller spiral bound format. The type is small and the paper is thin, but I find it's useful to have to compare to the later edition that many people decried.

    2. There are a number of printings, but the primary versions that you're able to find these days are the update from the 70s (look for two author names: Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker) and the most recent major update (three authors, add Ethan Becker to the author list).

      The 1970s one is a good all purpose cookbook and it includes, in my opinion better directions for basic cooking things like cutting up your own chickens. It also includes a lot of instructions around game dressing.

      But, it also includes a lot more fat and lard than anyone in their right mind would cook with today, and it doesn't include much in the way of interesting ethnic ingredients.

      The 1990s update is a lot more modern, with lighter recipes and more inclusive ingredient lists. The ethnic recipes they do include aren't necessarily outstanding, but at least they have a taste of some of the techniques. The instructions are still mostly great, but there's more of an emphasis on somewhat quicker alternative recipes than in the earlier version.

      If you're looking for a recipe book, get the new version. If you're looking for an instruction book, the older one might (but might not) be more to your taste.

      1. For those who have the Joy of Cooking - what are your favorite recipes from this book? I have it as well but find it overwhelming sometimes- so would like your opinions. Thanks!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: javagurl

          We've used a lot of their recipes reguularly: corn bread, banana bread, shrimp with chili paste, high-heat roasted turkey; it's a phenomenal resource

          1. re: javagurl

            I find the baking recipes almost alway excellent and include good technique tips...love the brownies and the devils food cake...

            1. re: javagurl

              The new edition's coverage of pies is extremely thorough and good. The pie recipes are good, too, but I mainly use it for the advice on crusts, rolling out, etc.

            2. Replace the FF and get a JoC!

              After looking the new one over, I've seen no good reason to replace my pre-Ethan version of Joy of Cooking. This isn't gourmet fare we're talking about, but good sensible home cooking with some swell party dishes thrown in. It's very midwestern, while Fanny (at least the older ones - I haven't looked at any new ones) is firmly grounded in New England. I have...well, LOTS of cookbooks, but these two get used as reference works as often as anything Julia or JB ever wrote.

              1. I find my older edition (1960s or 70s) as useful and helpful as it is charming.

                1 Reply
                1. re: neighbor

                  and very useful if you want to learn how to cook squirrel.

                  You can often find the old versions at used bookstores or yard sales.