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Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market Paperback – March 1, 2004


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Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market + Field Guide to Herbs & Spices + Field Guide to Meat
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Product Details

  • Series: Field Guide
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931686807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931686808
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ever get chicory confused with curly endive? Can’t tell a turnip from a rutabaga? Wonder what’s to be done with a pattypan squash? Green (The Bean Bible) offers these answers and more in this little guide to fruits and vegetables. Though the photographs in the color insert are of middling quality and intermittent help (only a non-native English speaker is likely to appreciate and/or need pictures of such basics as green peppers, carrots and corn), the rest of the book is surprisingly handy. For each fruit or vegetable, Green includes alternate names, a general description, its growing season and tips on storage and preparation. Her serving suggestion for arugula, for example, is an easy, flavorful pesto; "flavor affinities" for the peppery green, she notes, include beets, goat cheese and tomatoes. For anyone who’s ever been wowed by the colorful abundance at a farmer’s market but has stopped short of buying persimmons, broccoflower or samphire for lack of any idea what to do with them, Green’s guidebook will be an excellent resource.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Aliza Green is a chef, food writer, and teacher based in Philadelphia. She is the author of The Bean Bible: A Legumaniac’s Guide to Lentils, Peas, and Every Edible Bean on the Planet! and co-author of Ceviche!: Seafood, Salads, and Cocktails with a Latino Twist.

More About the Author

Aliza Green, the Philadelphia-based cookbook author, journalist and pioneering chef, is the author of thirteen highly successful cookbooks including her newest, The Soupmaker's Kitchen, to be published July 1st and available now for pre-sale on Amazon. Her Making Artisan Pasta, a step-by-step full color guide to making a world of fresh pasta has been garnering outstanding reviews and strong sales. It was selected by Cooking Light Magazine as one of its Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years--quite an honor in a field of thousands!

Researching Making Artisan Pasta in Italy inspired Green to gather a small group of food lovers to explore the Southern Italian region of Puglia, which she calls, "land of 1,000-year-old olive trees", in a tour taking place October 2 to 9, 2013. The group will be visiting wineries, experiencing the region's best and most authentic restaurants, markets, and artisan food producers, exploring world cultural sites, and will join in two cooking classes. For details, visit WWW.ALIZAGREEN.COM and click on the Puglia tour page.

Green's book, The Butcher's Apprentice, (Quarry Books, 2012) contains fascinating interviews with a rancher raising Japanese Wagyu cattle, a couple who produce Italian-quality prosciutto in Iowa because that's where the pigs are, a Jewish deli owner, a "new wave" hunter, a humane slaughterhouse designer, and an chef in Umbria who serves only meat from her family's farm. Interspersed are clear, full-color step by step techniques for cutting and trimming various types and cuts of meat and poultry that even the novice will be confident enough to try.

The perfect companion book is her Field Guide to Meat: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Meat, Poultry, and Game Cut (Quirk Books 2005) earned top praises from Food & Wine and Real Simple.

The Fishmonger's Apprentice (Quarry Books 2011) is full of step by step techniques for working with everything from geoduck to swordfish, from abalone to crayfish, flatfish and round fish. Interviews with experts in fishing like the five Portuguese families who started the sustainable American Albacore Tuna Association, a third-generation lobsterman from Maine, the manager of the Honolulu wholesale fish auction, and person who runs London's Billingsgate Fish Market, which has been in continuous operation for over 1,000 year! The book comes with a DVD showing Aliza preparing a dozen fish and seafood dishes plus recipes from renowned chefs.

Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market (Quirk Books 2004), was recommended by the New York Times, Men's Health, and Shape and has sold over 50,000 copies. Her personal favorite is Field Guide to Herbs & Spices (Quirk Books 2006), a compact guide to common but also rare and unusual spices from around the world. Field Guide to Seafood (Quirk Books 2007) is a complete guide to choosing fish and shellfish, whether you live in the US or abroad. The series of four food field guides is a must on the shelves of food writers, editors, and culinary students.

Her masterly Starting with Ingredients: Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Cook was published to outstanding reviews. With over 550 recipes and detailed, practical, information about the background, culture, history, and uses of 100 important ingredients, this book flies off the shelves in the United Stated and Canada. Starting with Ingredients: Baking does for baking what the first book did for general cooking in 60 chapters. Find uncommon international recipes, detailed ingredient information, and dozens of invaluable tips.

¡Ceviche!: Seafood, Salads, and Cocktails With a Latino Twist (Running Press 2001), which Green co-authored with chef Guillermo Pernot, received a James Beard Award for "Best Single Subject Cookbook." Her book, The Bean Bible: A Legumaniac's Guide to Lentils, Peas, and Every Edible Bean on the Planet! (Running Press 2000), was described by Booklist as "a comprehensive guide to the world of beans and bean cookery belongs in every cookbook collection." When Running Press re-released it as as Beans: More than 200 Delicious, Wholesome Recipes from Around the World with new photographs and recipes, the book appeared in a New York Times feature on top holiday cookbooks.

The beautiful oversized book, Georges Perrier: Le Bec-Fin Recipes (Running Press 1997) features a collection of recipes from Philadelphia's landmark restaurant that Green co-wrote with the renowned French chef.

Green has conducted numerous cooking classes, had many television appearances and radio interviews, and is a highly reputed television and print food stylist. As one of the pioneer chefs who helped make the city of Philadelphia a dining destination, Green began her career in the mid-1970's as Executive Chef at the renowned Ristorante DiLullo, where her culinary achievements landed the restaurant a prestigious four-star rating. In 1988, The Philadelphia Inquirer inducted Chef Green into its Culinary Hall of Fame, citing her as one of the ten most influential people in the city's food industry for her uncompromising efforts at working with local farmers.

Green cites her childhood, which she spent traveling and living abroad, as the inspiration for her culinary pursuits. She has been reading about, writing about and preparing and perfecting food for most of her life. Today, Green spends her time writing food guides and cookbooks, consulting to restaurants and institutional food service providers, teaching, and leading culinary tours.

Customer Reviews

This is a better than average book of its type.
B. Marold
If you don't understand what your grocery store offers in its produce department this book will be of immediate help.
J. Zweber
It is very informative and helpful with a giant list of various fruits and veggies.
mikesharpe2783

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Wickes on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
A pocket-guide, small enough to fit into your purse, filled with fantastic information about fruits and vegetables.

Aliza Green is a chef, teacher and food writer based in the Philadelphia area. This is her third book.

The Field Guide to Produce is an excellent guide if you are looking to educate yourself on the produce available to you at your local market. There are photographs to help you identify the item at the store, as well as a description of each item, the season it is available, how to choose it at the store, what to avoid when selecting your produce, how to store it, serving suggestions, flavor infinities and other names the item may use!

This is not a cookbook. There are no recipes inside. Yet, there are clear color photographs helping you to identify some of the more exotic items at your store, and even the most familiar.

If you are new to cooking, or want to educate yourself further in newer more exotic items, then check out this book. It is extremely useful!
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80 of 92 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on June 16, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I generally expect to find one or more deficiencies in small guides like this volume from Aliza Green, so I was not surprised to find some. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book also covered a lot more ground than I expected.
The first positive aspect of the book is the title, `Field Guide to PRODUCE'. It would have been easy and misleading to say it was a guide to fruits and vegetables, when many items in the book such as chestnuts and mushrooms are neither fruits nor vegetables. The book should have taken this positive title one step further and not divided entries up into fruits and vegetables. As I said, chestnuts and mushrooms are neither, and other products such as tomatoes are classified under their commercial category of vegetable instead of their botanical category of fruit.
The next positive aspect of the book is that the only product I could not find in either a primary entry such as `cabbage' or as an entry type such as `Brussels Sprouts' was the truffle. I will forgive them this omission, as it is the rare megamart that even carries truffles. On the other hand, the book did include such rarities as durian, loquat, and mung beans (although I thought the coverage of mung beans could have been a bit better).
Another positive aspect is that for produce such as apples, pears, cabbage, and tomatoes, several major cultivars are cited, with the best uses for each given.
The single biggest use for this book would probably be to find out when produce is in season, how to choose the best specimens, how to clean them, and how to store them. I will not be searching this book for the best fruits for a particular dish, although I may refer to the properties of apples to pick the best variety for a tart. On this subject, the book is excellent.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ralph on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives good, basic, brief information about a variety of fruits and vegetables. I feel it pales in comparison, however, to Elizabeth Schneider's books on produce because her books are more detailed. I would say that if you like brevity you will like this book by Aliza Green, were it not that I feel your hard-earned money is better spent on the more detailed Schneider books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Vahnee on September 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Field Guide to Produce is exactly what it claims to be. Roughly CD-jewel-case sized and about 2 in. thick, it's perfect for keeping in your car or reusable shopping bags for those random grocery trips. Without this book, I would never have had the courage to try fiddlehead ferns (fantastic sauteed with butter) or dinosaur kale - though I would often find unusual items such as these in the produce section. Now, I no longer get to stare curiously as I get another head of broccoli, but am forced to break out of mediocrity and try something new and exciting. Yay! The other side: This book is honest, at least - it doesn't step a hair over covering produce. (You need to get the 'Field Guide to Herbs & Spices" for that - no kidding.) The other morning, I was amazed to not find "chives" listed and realized that it doesn't cover any herbs at all. A pity, really, as it would be perfect all in one.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Houston on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm a Philadelphian, like the author, and have taken cooking classes with her. She's as good a writer as she is a teacher.
This book is pretty complete, even to including things as exotic as African horned cucumber, caltrope and yautia. Her advice on using each item is clear and specific, accesible to the rawest cooking beginner and still helpful to the expert. The pictures are beautiful, full-color photos that make identification very easy. I only wish she had ncluded more pictures of different kinds of beans, squashes, tomatoes, greens and so forth. Of course, the book might just get too big to carry to the produce vender's. At Philadelphia's justly famous Reading Terminal Market, such a book is particularly useful as the venders regularly offer all sorts of unusual produce. This lovely book will make the explorations much more fun. Anybody who goes to farmer's markets will find it useful. It's a good read, too; I've read it cover to cover.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Readz Alot VINE VOICE on April 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
So much of the advice in here is purely common sense ... and some of it is rather weird. Are there really readers out there who need to be told, when selecting fruits/veggies, to not buy things that are moldy or bruised or rotten? I was hoping for something a bit more profound.

And I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that apples should be kept in the fridge, because they'll go 'mealy' within 48 hours on the counter! Am I the only person in America who keeps apples on the counter for weeks without difficulty? (Well, assuming they don't get eaten up first.)

There is some interesting info on different varieties and cultivars, but even that is available elsewhere, and most of the content is a waste of time/money for anyone who already knows more than the basics.
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