The Food Lover's Companion (Barron's Cooking Guide)
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The Food Lover's Companion (Barron's Cooking Guide)

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,308 ratings  ·  83 reviews
This culinary reference contains some 6,000 entries on subjects related to food and drink, encompassing foods from around the world, cooking techniques, meat cuts, kitchen utensils, wine, and cocktail terms. There are 68 pages of appendices, covering everything from ingredient equivalents to consum
Paperback, 3rd edition, 772 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Barron's Educational Series (first published 1990)
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Sep 04, 2014 ^ rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in transatlantic cookery

This is a very useful book to have to hand when cooking in the UK from US recipes. I never have been able to get my head around the concept of weighing ingredients by volume, when it is so much simpler (and more accurate) to do so by weight. So the section (pg.690) on ingredient equivalents I find very useful; in conjunction with the enlightening main A-Z which translates (for example) ‘onion, green’ into what I know as spring onion. However the section (pg. 732) on British and American cooking...more
Mona Harrison
I'll never truly finish reading this nifty reference book. It's great to have on hand while watching tv cooking competitions! I learn something new every time I pick it up. Downside? Sometimes I can't find what I'm searching for, and that comes as a surprise.
Sarah Bringhurst
This replaces A History of the World in 100 Objects as my bathroom book. What a wonderful, informative, fascinating book. Whether you need to know what picadillo is or how to pick a good kohlrabi, if it has to do with food, it is in here.

Today I perused the cheese glossary, and found that I've tried 47 different kinds of cheese. There are also glossaries of sausage, shellfish, sauces, pastas, and herbs, among others. And then there are the many tips scattered throughout the book for ripening per...more
Christina
Great book! I descovered the Food Lover's Companion at my neighbors home in her expansive library. It was the smaller older edition but it was wonderful. I would sit there in my free time reading it page by page as if it were a novel and I knew I had to get this book for myself (and a friend who is also crazy for cooking).So when I arrived home I went straight to Amazon and looked it up. To my pleasant surprise the Deluxe was available. I jumped at the chance and ordered one each for me and a fr...more
Marguerite
This is our most-used reference book. I bought the previous edition when I was food editor of the newspaper and reviewed restaurants. When I heard it had been updated, I ordered the new edition, stat! And, it's even better than the old one, which I would have given five stars. Whenever we talk food, which is fairly often, or when I encounter an unfamiliar ingredient, I can turn to this book and get the information I need. It couldn't be simpler to use since it's alphabetical. It's cross-referenc...more
Etienne
Aug 31, 2013 Etienne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Food lovers, cooks, Food Network or Cooking Network fans, foodies
Recommended to Etienne by: Sharon Ferguson
This is one of those books that I don't believe you can say you are going to read cover-to-cover in a few sittings because it's not designed that way, so my status "currently reading" will likely apply for some time to come. For me, it is a reference as well as something I pick up now and then to learn something new (the way some individuals have a word or verse of the day). All I can add is that it's a remarkable work for anyone who loves cooking, loves food, can't get enough of the Food Networ...more
Elizabeth
This invaluable book sits on a shelf in our kitchen in ready reach - so handy for anyone without ready access to the internet. What a great resource it is. It lists everything!!

Well, almost everything. After hundreds of consultations to discover what various obscure foods and techniques (for us, anyway) were, the book was finally missing an entry: "Brown Windsor Soup". This is hardly a problem. After all, how many people are champing at the bit to know what "Brown Windsor Soup" is?

(Why did we s...more
Dana
This is a great resource to have in the kitchen. I've had it for years and I pick it up over and over again, like a dictionary for cooking.
Mckinley
Short description of food items.
Yaaresse
I bought the first edition years ago. We literally wore it out, and I was pleased to see it's been updated. This is not the sort of book you're going to sit down and read (although thumbing through it at random is also entertaining), but it really comes in handy if you work in food service, like to cook outside your comfort zone, or watch a lot of No Rservations type shows.

Another good one to have on hand is The Ethnic Food Lover's Companion.
Anna
Another one of the dictionary-type books I like to read for fun. Words and food are two of my favorite hobbies. :)
Becky
Regardless of the edition you havem the Food Lover's Companion is a must have for everyone with a kitchen. If you love to cook, you will love to just sit and flip through this astonishing book. If you are learning to cook, you will find clarity and definitions here to help you with the process and the shopping that you won't find in cook books.

I really cannot express how much I LOVE this book.
David Hewitt
Apr 05, 2008 David Hewitt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone and everything.
Technically I haven't read this entire book because essentially it is an encyclopedia on all things food-related. An all encompassing and infallible food encyclopedia.

Curious what exactly the hell a canape is?
Not totally sure on the brulee part of a creme brulee?
Want to read a two page dissertation on the word chicken?

This book knows, and doggone-it, those're only the C's.
Arwen Downs
It is slightly misleading to offer a date that I "read" this book; a fantastic compendium of food terms, I keep it next to my cookbooks and consult it every time I prepare something remotely new. It is one of my favorite books to peruse any time I have a minute to sit down with a cup of tea, and has inspired me to try all sorts of new foods and dishes.
Jan Garver
This book is absolutely wonderful! Mike gave it to me a few years ago, and I never stop referring to it. Sometimes I just get it down and look through it.
In addition to definitions and descriptions, there is an appendix which, among other things, has a list of food additives and what they are used for.
Did I say I love this book????
David
Oct 08, 2008 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone that eats or drinks
Shelves: food-writing
As a professional chef, I and many of my fellow chefs, cooks and home cooks rely on this book for a quick back-up for knowledge that might otherwise be not just a armslength away. Anything from spices, herbs, meats, veg, and actual dishes is covered in this glorious book. It is a book of 6000 definitions that reads like a novel.
Tyler
This is a reference book - an encyclopedia of cooking terms, history, development, definitions. If you want to learn all about the different types of mustard this is where you would look. If you aren't sure what it means to "emulsify" you would look here. It is a valuable tool to have in the kitchen.
Ashley
I've checked out four of these food reference guides/encyclopedias, and I think this is the one I'd most highly recommend. It's easy to use, provides about the right level of information for most people, and is nicely organized (having entire sections on herbs, spices, sauces, etc. is wonderful).
Lindsey
This is the food lover's Bible. As a food writer, I keep it right beside my computer with in arm's reach at all times. I've probably learned more about food from this little dictionary than from any other source. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in cooking or adventurous eating.
Alicia
Although this is not exactly a book that you would normally read....since it is more of a dictionary...i could sit and read it for hours. I love this book. I have learned so much about food! I use it to look up one little thing and I get sucked into to reading more and more and more.
Michelle
Everyone should own this book. It tells you everything thing you need or want to know about pretty much every food you can think of. Not a cookbook, more like a reference library for food, all in one handy little volume. I could not live without this book.
christina white
Apr 04, 2007 christina white rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in food
Shelves: cookbooks
This book I recommend over Larousse Gastronomique because it is much more accessible as well as written in a clear, straightforward style. Almost every chef I have ever worked with has a copy of this little gem! Very useful reference!
Amanda Vogelbaum
Oct 25, 2007 Amanda Vogelbaum rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cooks
Shelves: food
This dictionary of food, drink, and culinary terms is a must-have for any cook who admits to not knowing everything. Learn how to pronounce the term, it's origin, it's uses, descriptions of, etc. Easy to use, thorough, and fun!!!
Niko
Information on almost every herb, spice, vegetable, fruit, cut of meat, type of wine and ethnic cuisine can be found in this book. For those who think the kitchen is a place for learning, you won't regret owning this book.
Ryan
The best quick reference for any term or ingredient you run across in any recipe. I have never seen another book like it and I use it all the time. It is organized like a dictionary. A wonderful thing to have in the kitchen.
Leslie
This is totally embarrassing but I read this reference book from cover to cover. However, I think it's one of the best cooking references out there (although I'm yet to read "The Elements of Cooking" by Ruhlman.
Terri
A great reference book. Particularly useful for a pal's annual alphabetical potluck- year 12, bring foods that begin with "L," as well as for looking up random references to condiments or unfamiliar international items.
Jeffrey logan
gotta have this book if ur in the food industry! I feel like a commercial for this book. look smart at your next dinner date! Act now and we'll tell you that that's not really beef youre eating!
Thomas
Sep 21, 2008 Thomas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cooks, Chefs, Those Who Eat
Recommended to Thomas by: Kamila Z.
A dictionary of sorts... so it'll always be in my "currently reading". Great reference work to flip through randomly and read up on something and then spout it to others like you knew it all along.
Actoroesch
Fantastic food reference.... With cross referencing terms that could pacify a foodie for hours... One term to the next... A lot of page-flipping, but an incredible knowledge base.
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