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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The entire series of "Field Guide to..." is well written, designed and is always useful.Published 4 months ago by Billy Bob in Hotlanta
I like this little book. It's very informative and I'm finding that I haven't heard of a lot of this produce and I am now looking for when I shop for groceriesPublished 9 months ago by Dottie
I love to keep this in my produce bag when shopping - great book!Published 9 months ago by Know Your Produce
This is a very informative book, as a new employee working in the produce department, This book allowed me to learn and become more knologible.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
A very handy little guide to most of the popular vegetables and fruits you are likely to find at the market arranged alphabetically and it includes some useful tips on preparation.Published 18 months ago by C. Brenner
i just leave this in my kitchen and use it for quick tips on storage: how to refrigerate (brown paper bag or wet paper towel?) or freeze (blanching required?).Published 21 months ago by Sierra