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101 Classic Cookbooks: 501 Classic Recipes Hardcover – October 9, 2012
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“101 Classic Cookbooks boils down the classic, most iconic cookbooks to 501 recipes.” ~News Times
"This book will be a welcome gift for any cookbook collector. The breadth of the food history provided, along with the classic recipes from each book will provide many hours of enjoyment. Any one interested in tracking the history of the foodie movement in this country, or interested in trying many of the iconic recipes that have made a statement about who we are and how we like to eat, will be delighted to receive this book." ~About.com
"Published by Rizzoli, it is as much an art book as a recipe primer...Images of antique receipt books and mid-century food art make for great cultural history." ~The Paris Review
"A great cookbook and one you argue your way through: For opinionated cooks, 101 Classic Cookbooks provides pure joy." ~New York Journal of Books
"Best of" lists are a staple of magazines and websites. Leave it to Clark Wolf, one of the canniest food marketers around, to figure a way to turn one into a book. And a fascinating book at that... a collection that will inspire much good cooking and probably even more spirited discussion. What Wolf and company have done is compile a canon of American cookbookery. It's a handsome effort....Any amateur user of cookbooks will find much to love in these pages." ~Los Angeles Times
"If anyone wants to get a thorough sense of the development of American gastronomy over the last 150 years, this is a book that will do it delectably...The repros of covers and pages from these cookbooks are a delight and will be a nostalgic trip for so many who bought these books when they were first published. It's a beautifully put-together book, as is Rizzoli's style." ~Esquire
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Top Customer Reviews
This 688 page book is fabulous, and deserves a place on every cook's shelf. A group of known leaders in the food world (people like Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Betty Fussell), teamed up with the Fales Library/ New York University to select the 101 most important cookbooks of the 20th century, and from those cookbooks, publish the best 501 recipes from those books.
The book's first section presents all of the 101 cookbooks, and the second section has all of the recipes. There are colorful pictures of the cover and pages from each cookbook, as well as a discussion about why that book was important. Most books also have pictures of some of the pages in the book. It is great fun to read about why your old favorite cookbooks made the list, as well as finding other books that you might not have ever heard of. I like the fact that you can read about all of the books first, but all of the recipes are together in their own section, making it easier to cook from the book.
I found old favorites like 'The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book', 'Southern Cooking', 'The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook', The Classic Italian Cook Book', 'The Cuisines of Mexico', 'The Complete Book of Breads', 'The Greens Cookbook', 'The Vegetarian Epicure' , 'Foods of the World', 'The Tassajara Bread Book', 'The Taste of Country Cooking', 'La Technique', 'The Mooswood Cookbook', 'From My Mother's Kitchen', 'The Breakfast Book', 'Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen', 'Chez Panisse Vegetables', 'Seductions of Rice', and many more. I found surprises like 'Diet for a Small Planet', 'Aby Mandel's Cuisinart Classroom', and 'Microwave Gourmet', which really DID have a huge influence on how we cook and eat. Then there were new discoveries of books I really have to track down....Read more ›
If you are expecting a functional cookbook, you will be disappointed.
Many of the recipes from influential early cookbooks are completely unusable -- curiosities, really. Recipes from more modern cookbooks will very often refer to other recipes that are not included: The recipe for Queen of Sheba cake from Medrich's Cocolat does not include the recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze. The recipe for Black Bean Enchiladas from Madison's The Greens Cookbook calls for Black Bean Chili, recipe not included. The recipe for Dr. E's Get-Well Vegetable Chicken Soup from Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking calls for Emeril's Creole Seasoning, recipe not included. On and on and on.
Another complaint: Many many illustrations are copies of cookbook pages with two or four pages reduced to fit one page. This gives an idea of page layout and general design, but is vastly annoying if you are trying to read text or get a decent look at the pictures.
Above all, this book is a work of culinary history, which accounts for why the title in bold on the cover is “101 Classic Cookbooks,” with “501 Classic Recipes” in smaller print beneath. The food history part of the volume is very attractive, with full color reproductions and facsimile pages from each cookbook, along with an introduction for each and several longer essays by famous food persons like Alice Waters and Laura Shapiro. The cookbooks span the 20th century, from Fannie Farmer and Sarah Tyson Rorer to Thomas Keller and Mark Bittman. Recommended recipes from each appear in a box on the page, with page references to those that are actually incorporated into the “501” section of the book. This section offers hours of pleasurable browsing.
What the book is not---at least not exactly---is a proper cookbook. Of the 501 recipes, some are (as the editor notes) primarily of historical interest. Others are just plain interesting and create a fine record of changing culinary tastes. There is one problem. Always wanted to try something from, say, The French Laundry Cookbook, a book that you don’t happen to own? There are recipes, all right, but they are not complete. Take his “Macaroni and Cheese,” the one with “Butter-Poached Maine Lobster with Creamy Lobster Broth and Mascarpone-Enriched Orzo.” The main recipe is there, but not recipes for three essential components, the creamy lobster broth, the beurre monté, and the coral oil. So forget it, or plunk down some more money for the French Laundry Cookbook.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really great compilation; the first half of the book is dedicated to cookbooks, the second half is recipes from those ookbooks. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tazio Nuvalari
I love this book and have since started a classic cookbook collection. The backstories about how the books came together and their impact on food are pretty interesting and you... Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. Cox
The first half of this book is more like a history of cookbooks. It starts with Fanny Farmer and goes all the way through modern cookbooks and includes things like Mastering the... Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Anne Omniuss
Excellent compilation!! Can't wait to tackle some of the best recipes from the best cookbooks. Love it!! A must for any foodie!!Published on January 15, 2013 by Laura Varley
You can now cull your collection and cut to the chase with this compendium! Most notable recipes from each of the cookbooks are included in this collective from classic cookbooks. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by S. Stone