A blend of history, etymology, anecdotes, origins and culture of food.
How often have you found yourself in the kitchen in the middle of preparing a recipe when you come across an unfamiliar term? Not recognizing a word and its meaning can diminish or slow down the pleasure of preparing a dish. Or perhaps you have a love of words and are intrigued by their historical background and linguistic origins.
Cooking is a wonderful adventure especially when the terms, definitions and historical origins of words in recipes are familiar. The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary defines 4,500 key food words and provides a wealth of historical background for many of them. For anyone who cooks or who simply loves food, this book is a vital reference source and an outstanding cookbook supplement.
The book includes:
Food and alcohol terms listed alphabetically for easy reference
Illustrations throughout particularly for fruits and vegetables
British, American and many foreign language cooking terms
Complete pasta appendix
Wonderful selection of fascinating food quotes and anecdotes
Basic cooking methods.
The rich and rare culinary information describes subjects as varied as Humble Pie and Hanger Steak to Squawroot and Stracchino.
The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary is an excellent resource to have on hand in the kitchen and makes for delightful armchair reading as well.
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September 04, 2004
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based on 6 reviews
Average Customer Review: ( 6 customer reviews )
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15 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Absorbing and Informative Oct 03, 2004
By Bill Marsano Jacques Rolland has undertaken a herculean task here, for compiling a cook's dictionary is harder than ever today. Only a couple of decades such a book would cover the bare bones of American cooking, throw in a lot of French and a little Italian, and that would be that. These days we have a few extra cuisines to deal with-- Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican--and at the same time the old America-French-Italian triad must needs be treated in greater depth.
So granting that the task is physically impossible (even could such a book be assembled, no one could pick it up without a forklift), it must be admitted that Rolland has done a terrific job. He not only explains, defines and identifies without letup or surcease for more than 400 pages, he does it briskly and informatively: What he tells you will stick with you. And he lards his definitions with lore and tradition as well. In all, this book is not only useful but entertaining, which is what food itself should be. There are good black-and-white illustrations (drawings, not photos), and too bad there aren't more of them. Still, this book is a pleasure just to dip into now and then for a quick "snack," and it belongs on the nightstand as well as in the kitchen. Might be a good idea to buy two copies, come to think of it.--Bill Marsano is a James Beared Award-winning writer of wine and spirits, and a determined if somewhat dangerous home cook.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Cooking Dictionary Feb 07, 2009
By Linda Haralson This dictionary is ok. It does not show the French pronunciation which was something I was looking for.
The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary Mar 05, 2013
By Virginia Massenburg We all nedd help in the Kitchen and this is one of the best I found to help with cooking and it really make cooking better to eat.
handy dictionary Jan 11, 2013
By Francis L. Greaves
We did not realize how often we would refer to this dictionary when we bought it; it is very handy to have in the kitchen.
Helpful! Oct 09, 2010
By Melissa Buell
"Melissa Buell, "Author of THE SEVENTH BLESSING.""
This is a handy book for the kitchen or even when you're watching a cooking show and think, "What in the world is THAT vegetable?!" And you look it up and say, "Oh! Now I know!" :) I thank my husband for buying this for me. I love to cook and it has been very helpful for identifying food and knowing the history of certain foods that I cook or that I would like to cook one day.