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Books for beginning a cookbook collection

I'm a foodie in the whole sense of the word. I'm passionate about both eating and cooking as well as ingredients and technique. I'm going to go shopping for cookbooks soon and want to buy books to grow my small collection. I'm not looking for generic, common recipes but for the bibles of the culinary world. I'm more interested in the techniques and ingredients of exotic cuisines. I already own the red plaid bhg cookbook which was good for me but not so much lately since I've grown so advanced in my cooking and want more authenticity and more of a challenge. I'm looking to buy Julia child's mastering the art of French cooking and Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. Any other recommendations of all time must haves?

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  1. Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbooks - "Classic Italian Cookbook", "More Classical Italian Cooking".

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    1. I don't think any book has taught me more about cooking than the Flavor Bible. Even though it has no recipes.

      1. I would recommend Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. A great resource!

        1 Reply
        1. re: cookingonions

          How To Cook Everything was so uninspiring to me, I got rid of it. I guess I'm not a fan of Bittman, whose recipes I find overly simple and often flavorless.

          For me, The Best Recipe is a more interesting version of the compendium type of book.

        2. Which ever classic cookbooks you choose. May I recommend not buying the most modern edition of them. a brand new cookbook will set you back $25 - $40. A used one that is one edition older will be less than $8. You get a lot more book for your dollar.

          1. Don't ever under rate the Joy of Cooking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JudiAU

              Ditto. I have 50+ cookbooks and refer to The Joy of Cooking often. So comprehensive! OP, take care with which edition.