Rob's Reviews > The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
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Oct 14, 07

bookshelves: cookbook, own
Recommended for: knife and spatula wielding omnivores
Read in July, 2001

I would not consider this my "everyday" cookbook but the The Joy of Cooking is a definite must for anyone that takes their cooking seriously, enjoys spending a bit of time in the kitchen, and needs a good all-purpose reference that covers everything from emergency substitutions to complete banquet spreads.

What do I like most about The Joy of Cooking? It is fairly encyclopedic, covering about as broad a range of cooking topics as it can; while most of the recipes are from the Western tradition, it also dips into some less traditional preparations (e.g., ceviche). The book does not assume that you know anything about cooking -- not sure what a "dash" is? You can look up an explanation for that. What's the difference between a filet and a cutlet? It explains that, too. (HINT: they're basically synonymous.) It has a great index, is organized well, and has recipes to cover almost any occasion and varying degrees of culinary sophistication.

What don't I like about The Joy of Cooking? It's encyclopedic nature can be a little intimidating sometimes. If you already have a good idea of what you want to make, there's a good chance that you'll find a great recipe; if you're looking for ideas though, the text may overwhelm you. Speaking of text -- the pictures are all illustrations. Granted, they're good illustrations but I tend to prefer photos in my cookbooks (helps me decide what to try next).

One last point about The Joy of Cooking: I would recommend it to everyone except vegetarians. The book assumes an omnivore's diet so if you eschew the animals in your diet, I would estimate that greater than half of these recipes would not appeal to you.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Barbara You said about what I would have, but probably better. I wouldn't be without it, but I don't use it for inspiration.


Stephanie ditto


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