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Oct 8, 2011 10:56 AM

Recommend Books About Food?

Hi Chowhounders,

I'm looking for a good book(s) that details fruits, meats, and vegetables. Ideally the book(s) would include
- different types
- how to clean, process
- descriptions of taste and appearance
- common uses, or the best ways to prepare

I realize there may be no such books, but any recommendations for something similar would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. Two books I own that would partially match your requirements are:
    On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
    Starting with Ingredients by Aliza Green

    Both recommended!

    1. Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" would give you some of the fruit & vegetable information you need. Mark Bittman's "How to cook Everything Vegetarian" might also be helpful.
      For the meat.... maybe a culinary textbook? There might be a cookbook thread on here that could be of use.
      Good luck!

      1. The above mentioned Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" is very good. The middle of the book has about 125 pages on various vegetables, how to prepare and some good recipes. The rest of the large book has good recipes for vegetarians.
        One of the best reference is Elizabeth Schneider's "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini". It is very comprehensive with how to choose, clean and recipes.
        Might want to take a look at Alice Waters' "Chez Panisse Vegetables" and "Chez Panisse Fruits". Meat: two recent releases are James Peterson's "Meat, a Kitchen Education" and Joshua & Jessica Applestone's "The Butcher's Guide to Well Raised Meat..."

        1 Reply
        1. re: PBSF

          I too have Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, and I'd recommend it also. I saw a post on this site in which the cover picture was called the "Dominatrix of Cooking" ... and now I laugh each time I see this book.

        2. Thanks, guys! I'll be taking a look at all the suggestions made so far.
          More recommendations are welcome.

          1. Cheese Essentials, by Laura Werlin, has a wealth of information on cheeses and how to eat//taste them. There are other good cheese books on the market (perhaps even more comprehensive), but this is the one I own and I've learned much from it.