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Feb 21, 2008 04:48 AM

Joy of Cooking - various editions

which edition of Joy of Cooking do you like best. Mine had fallen apart and i got the most recent version, which is seen as a return to the earlier version, after the penultimate revisionist one, which had a more international/modern flavor. Personally i liked the one before, better than the newest (and think im'm going to seek out a copy of it)

what do you think?

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  1. I received the Joy of Cooking as a shower gift back in the 70's and the New and Revised Edition as a holiday gift some years later. I've never seen the more modern, international version you refer to. Quite honestly, I've never been that impressed with anything I've made from either book, except for their brownie recipe. Perhaps I'm not the best cook or the recipes were not up to my tastes and standards. Just my 2 cents. I'm sure there are many people out there who feel differently about Joy of Cooking. I refer to it once in a while when I need help with cooking/baking techniques or info about ingredients. I'm sure other Hounds will chime in here with their opinions. Good luck finding the best version for you!

    1 Reply
    1. re: addicted2cake

      I've got a 1980 Rombauer edition, addicted. I've had good luck with the recipes I've used from the book, but there's a part of me that maybe can understand what you're saying. Not about the quality of the results, but about the range of recipes, maybe. I never used it much for cooking, simply because I've never used recipes much at all for cooking (I learned from my mother and what she didn't supply, I was more apt to pick up from magazines when I was learning). But I certainly needed recipes for baking or other desserts, and that's when I went to JOC, my old, beat up Doubleday cookbook, or even the old Betty Crocker. There are specific recipes in JOC whose results have been great for me, but after you've been cooking for a while, you want some new ideas, new twists. I know I can always find the standards in JOC, but for interesting variations, other books have served me better. I do like JOC as a reference book on ingredients, as you mentioned.

    2. I have a copy from the 70s I bought as one of my first cookbooks while still an infant (LOL!) I also have a later version from a few years ago that Ethan Becker, the son, edited. I actually prefer the older version. Have found a lot of the recipes are very useful for classic dishes or master recipes, which I have tweaked and adjusted through the years to suit my family's taste, changing diet and nutritional needs.

      1. Hello everyone! I worked as a primary editor for the 75th anniversary edition of JOY, and I still work with Ethan Becker on a variety of JOY related projects. The 75th anniversary edition was published in November 2006, and the edition prior to that was published in 1997. The 1997 edition was a large departure from the JOY tradition - it cut many classic JOY chapters such as Cocktails, Brunch, Lunch & Supper, Frozen Desserts, Canning, Pickles, and much of the reference material was also cut. Our new anniversary edition restores much of the classic reference material, buy maintains many of the EXCELLENT modern/international recipes that were developed for the 1997 edition. Visit our website and learn more about this historic cookbook! EnJOY!

        2 Replies
        1. re: MagKG

          While I'm glad to see the original stuff is back, most of the "international" recipes created for the '97 edition are pretty feeble. I think the "51 and the 75 are the best ones to have, and are also pretty easy to find at 2nd hand stores, and online.

          This new one has some "time-saving" recipes, which are sort of Rayish, if you like that sort of thing.

          1. re: MagKG

            Maybe you can convince them to use a sewn binding instead of glued next edition so the book doesn't fall apart. I really like the older edition due to the sewn binding. I will not buy the next edition if the binding is useless like it is with the 75th anniversary edition.

          2. I have and use three editions: 1975, 1997, 2006. I have used the oldest of these the most and recently ordered a replacement copy because the book had gotten revolting, and was falling apart. I use some recipes, but mostly I consult for technique and ideas.

            I can vouch for the cornbread recipes in the '75 edition wholeheartedly. Also, many years ago one of my children had to bring a U.N. member food dish to school, and I used it to make West African Beef Stew. I made it subsequently several times after that.

            1. If you have the space, I think it's nice to have both versions (old and the 1997-- have never cooked from the 2006). I use the old for all sorts of things-- canning especially. I also always make the drop or rolled biscuits. In fact, these were the first thing I learned to bake. I used to make them for my dad on "casserole night" when my mom was working-- initially I used Bisquik, but then "graduated" to the homemade and have never gone back. Now I use the rolled biscuit recipe to make a crust for pot pie. Yum! The 1997 has some nice recipes-- I love, for example, the French hot chocolate recipe. If forced to choose, I'd probably go with the original, though.