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Food Lover's Companion, The (Barron's Cooking Guide) Paperback – February 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Barron's Cooking Guide
  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 3 edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764112589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764112584
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 1.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Amazingly comprehensive encyclopedia of everything you ever wondered or will need to know about culinary terms and ingredients. -- Susan Miller, The Home Monthly, May 2001

Hands down, it is the ultimate accessible cooking and dining reference book. -- Mat Schaffer, Boston Herald, March 2001

If there's a culinary reference book that foodies reach for more often... we don't know what it would be. -- Renee Enna, The Chicago Times, June 2001

This mimi-tome is brimming with useful information on thousands of foods and terms. -- Renee Enna, The Chicago Times, June 2001

About the Author

Sharon Tyler Herbst, award-winning author of 13 books, is the foremost writer of user-friendly food and drink reference works. She's also a media personality and spokesperson for national food and beverage companies.

More About the Author

Sharon Tyler Herbst is the award-winning author of twelve books on food and wine, and the foremost writer of culinary reference books, including the bestselling Food Lover's Companion and Food Lover's Tiptionary.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is also very well-written and very easy to read and use.
This is a great reference book for anyone who loves to cook or just has an interest in foods of the world.
R. Stahl
Much practical information on the purchase, storage, and preparation of food items.
Marvin W. Luse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was at first captivated and then consummed by this tiny and yet seriously comprehensive volume years ago when I found one of the first editions. This is the third edition and it is completely amazing how many food, drink and culinary terms can be packed into such a tiny package.

I love the feel and weight of this book and the ease of which you can use this book to look up terms fast and furiously when you are writing about food. The rounded corners on the pages make this a book you can flip through very easily and it is all pleasantly alphabetical.

The Contents Include:

Terms: The volume of the work.

The Extras:

Ingredient Equivalents
Substituting Ingredients
Pan Substitution Chart
High-Altitude Baking Adjustments
Boiling Point of Water at Various Altitudes
General Temperature Equivalents
Hand Test for Grilling Temperatures
Oven Temperatures
Fahrenheit/Celsius Conversion Formulas
Microwave Oven Conversion Chart
Recommended Safe cooking Temperatures

Candymaking Cold-Water Tests
Frying Temperatures
Smoke Points of Popular Oils
Fatty Acid Profiles of Popular Oils
U.S. Measurement Equivalents
Wine and Spirit Bottle Sizes
Approximate Metric Equivalents
Metric Conversion Formulas
Food Guide Pyramid
What's a Serving?
Food Label Terms
A Guide to Food Labels
Pasta Glossary
British and American Food and Cooking Terms
Consumer Information Sources
Meat Charts
Additives Directory

Did I say this was Comprehensive? For food lovers this reaches a point of inspiration unlike any other book on food I've found. I love having so much information all in one book.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By yippee1999 on December 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
A friend got me this book for a present. Prior to that, it never occurred to me that such a book existed, or that I would ever need it. Now I can't imagine it not being in my collection.
This book lists every possible ingredient (truffles, cumin, etc.), popular dishes (beef bourgonion(?), etc.) and every cooking term/technique (flambe, roux, etc.) in alphabetical order. With regards to a type of food, it will often list the various countries of origin (....this is found in Central America and in Southeast Asia...), how it is often used in cooking (....this is often sliced thinly and then pan-fried....), what to look for when selecting a certain type of produce at the store ( should be relatively heavy for its size, with a smooth skin....), and how to store it (...this should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a sealed plastic bag with a damp paper towel...), etc. Some of the food entries will also include information on vitamin content.
For cooking techniques, they will explain for e.g. how to make a roux, or what it means to blanche vegetables (....quickly plunge the vegetables into boiling water, and then place them in cold water to stop the cooking process...).
This book is also handy because it cross-references alot, and so as such, can provide you with needed information if you ever find yourself missing an ingredient, and want to substitute.
If you are someone who's constantly interested in improving their cooking skills, this book is indispensible in helping you achieve that. I also enjoy just reading through the book sometimes, to learn new things.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
The "Food Lover's Companion" is a chunky dictionary-style reference of nearly 6,000 food, drink, and culinary terms for the beginning cook to the gourmet chef. Author Sharon Tyler Herbst has added terms, updated most listings, and expanded the book's excellent Appendix for the 3rd edition. Pronunciation guides are provided for most terms. A mind-boggling array of culinary nouns, proper nouns, verbs and the occasional adjective are defined. As an example, on one page in the "B" section you will find definitions for: Boursin, bovolo, boxty, boysenberry, braciola, Braeburn apple, brains, braise, bramble, and bran. Terms are listed alphabetically, but it helps to read "How to Use This Book" in the first pages of the book for specific information on how terms are organized and cross-referenced. The "Food Lover's Companion" isn't entirely comprehensive; there are a couple of ethnic food terms that I couldn't find, and I don't agree with every definition. But this is the closest to being a comprehensive culinary reference as I have seen.

Although 687 pages of "Food Lover's Companion" are dedicated to defining culinary terms, the Appendix includes many useful charts and definitions, which some cooks will find just as valuable.
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