Thaiyoshi's Reviews > How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food

How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
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's review
Aug 19, 07

bookshelves: cookbooks

This book is a great reference, but for some reason, I really can't cook from it. Maybe it's the paradox of choice at work. The book just doesn't jive with how I think about food.

It's set up like an encyclopedia or a taxonomic guide (like you would find for identifying birds or plants). It is impressive in that it's such a broad sweep of food, but it's hard to find entry points. For me it's usually a specific take on a dish or a picture that inspires me to try making something. This book is so structured that I can't just open it to a page and find inspiration.

I also wished that the book focused a little more on how you can perfect dishes-what to look for in ingredients and what qualities you should look for in the final product. This book does some of this and it's all really subjective, but I feel that the emphasis is more on classification and defining dishes. If I want to know what Pasta Arrabiata is, I'll consult this book, but if I want to know what to make for dinner, I'll look elsewhere.

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