The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference
A culinary reference packed with thousands of straightforward definitions and fun tips and trivia
Perfect for cooks, food lovers, and even trivia buffs, The Culinarian is a wide-ranging kitchen reference that no cupboard should be without. With plain-English definitions of everything from Absinthe to Zucchini, it includes fascinating culinary history, etymologies, and tips on selecting, storing, and using virtually every ingredient and piece of kitchen equipment imaginable.
In addition to vital information like unit conversions and yields and equivalents, the book also includes cooking tips, lists, and trivia, from the heavily practical, such as common meat cuts and labeling terms, to the just plain entertaining, like lists of aphrodisiac foods and fun food cliches.
If you've ever wondered how to trim an artichoke or what the difference between a sweet potato and a yam is, The Culinarian has all the answers you need.
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The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk ReferenceUser Review - Book Verdict
Although Barbara Ann Kipfer is not a professional chef, her experience as a nonfiction writer and her considerable expertise in the editing and authoring of dictionaries, thesauri, and other reference works serve her well in this friendly volume. The book is intended to provide a handy compendium of foods, methods, equipment, and expressions—it eschews recipes—and largely succeeds. Anyone confused by label terms, yields, or international expressions and measures will appreciate the "Opening Helpful Information" section. The entries that follow describe, in about equal measure, techniques, equipment, and ingredients from the basic to the exotic ends of the culinary spectrum. A guide to flavor pairings ends the title, encouraging creative cooking and saving readers from wondering what to do with the eggplant in the back of the fridge. The layout is occasionally awkward, and there are some inconsistencies in how entries are formatted, but this does not detract from the quality of the content. Soft pencil illustrations by the author's son do not provide the precise visuals of photographs, but they do lend the book a warm, down-home feel. BOTTOM LINE While not as comprehensive as the classic Larousse Gastronomique (Librarie Larousse), the compact Culinarian provides excellent reference in a more manageable package than its unwieldy competitor. A useful, appealing, and accessible reference for established foodies and budding chefs alike.—Lauren de Bruin, Alberta Lib., Edmonton