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

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,398 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
The new edition of one of America's best-selling culinary reference books is bigger and better than ever, with almost 6,000 listings on subjects related to food and drink. Hailed by Bon App tit magazine as "one of the best reference books we've seen, a must for every cook's library," it's the ultimate kitchen tool. Here are answers to questions about cooking techniques, me ...more
Paperback, 3rd edition, 792 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Barron's Educational Series (first published 1990)
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Greg Brozeit
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
If you like to cook, this is just one of those books you should have in your kitchen. If you're a writer or reader, you have a dictionary. If you're a bird watcher, you need a book to help you identify birds. If you're a chemist, you need your periodical table. If you're a cook, you need this.

It helps you to identify things: After years of faking it, I learned what a lingonberry was. It introduces you to cuisine around the world: I've got to try some taramasalata some day, "a creamy mixture made
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-drink
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.
Mona Harrison
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary
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.
Grand Promus
Small in size and to the point, Food Lover's Companion is a nice little reference to have on hand for the foodie or avid cook. It's nothing fancy but still delivers as promised: Information of pretty much every food you will find in the typical western supermarket and restaurant along with the occasional article for more in depth explanations on some things. While I prefer more information heavy food references this is still a good guide and easily fits in a purse when I travel so I can check wh ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
A wonderful reference book for food, drinks and dishes from around the world. I certainly don't feel it is "a must for every cook's library," but it certainly has its place for food enthusiasts.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
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.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
David Hewitt
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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????
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary
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.
Amanda Vogelbaum
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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!!!
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
christina white
Apr 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Such a handy little reference when you need some insight to an ingredient. Also...easier to yank off the shelf than Larousse Gastronomique...
Lynn Vannucci
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Read, and read, and read again - a stellar reference.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The handiest food reference I have.
Nov 08, 2007 is currently reading it
Reading now. A to Z - that's the goal. I'm at B as of now. Go ahead, ask me what a ballotine is...
Alan Shook
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
By far an indisputable must have for any professional kitchen!
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the most valuable reference books I have ever owned. LOVE.
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