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Dec 3, 2007 06:20 AM

Vegetable and Fruit Reference Books

I'm seeking suggestions on fruit and vegetable reference books that provide background information about the subjects, pictures if possible, and preparation as well. The latter is debatable. I really want to have good reference guides for educational and seasonal cooking purposes.

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  1. Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    and Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables: A Commonsense Guide

    both by Elizabeth Schneider, are pretty much exactly what you describe. They give lots of info on each vegetable, basic guidelines for preparation, and some recipes. With pictures.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      those books by eliz. schneider are great. greene on greens is a good older book as well. for seasonal cooking and niche ingredients that are becoming more available i like "the organic cook's bible" by jeff cox. deborah madison's farmer's market cookbooks are good but more recipe/cooking oriented.

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I wondered about the Vegetables book but was somewhat hesitant and wasn't sure if the cost was justified. Thank you for the suggestions!

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Field Guide to Produce - Aliza Green - 200 color pics, 'How to Identify, Select, and Prepare....,' small enough to be carried to the store with you. You can find it on amazon.

          There are several books in the Field Guide series; the one on cocktails is the best, I think.

        2. The book "Ingredients" by Loukie Werle and Jill Cox (ISBN 3-8290-3453-9) is a wonderful visually-oriented guide to the raw materials we seek. Its chief merit is the wonderful photography, a sort of newer take on the old botanic illustrations of Victorian times in some instances, and a sort of side-by-side comparison in others.

          It's not just about fruits and veg, however - be prepared for raw fishes and offal and photos of spices and cheeses, and rice and oils and food colorings. Still, the produce photography is, IMO, wonderful.

          Not a lot on preparation mentioned in the book, but plenty for the eye.


          1 Reply
          1. re: cayjohan

            This is even better. I hadn't considered adding in meats and such. I will definitely check it out as well. Thanks again!