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Irma Rombauer collected recipes from friends for the first Joy of Cooking, and published it herself. For this sixth edition, the All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking, Ethan Becker, grandson of Irma and son of Marion Rombauer Becker, worked with Maria Guarnaschelli, senior editor and vice president at Scribner's. Together, they called on top food professionals to produce a Joy that reflects the way we eat today.
Five new chapters satisfy today's love of pasta, pizza, noodles, burritos, grains, and beans, including soy. The roughly 3,000 recipes, most revised from earlier editions, give the food processor and microwave their due. Interest in ethnic flavors, grazing, leaner meats, more fish, and less fat are reflected, and old standbys such as Tuna Noodle Casserole and Fried Chicken are updated. Information on canning, jams, pickles, and preserves is replaced by expanded material on grilling, barbecuing, flavored oils, and vinegars. Also gone is the personal voice of the old Joy. The new Joy of Cooking is comprehensive for today's cooks. Time will tell if it remains the long-loved, dog-eared kitchen companion and teacher Joy has been since 1931.
From Library Journal
The concept of "essence"?that intrinsic quality without which an object is no longer itself?underlies the controversy surrounding the new Joy of Cooking. Original author Rombauer pioneered the "user-friendly" style, demystifying kitchen basics with reliable, unfussy recipes. Since Rombauer's death in 1962, subsequent editions by her daughter, Marion Becker, have expanded the scope while attempting to preserve the conversational tone. Now the sixth revision may indeed have a new and different essence; detractors attack the inclusion of exotic dishes as a betrayal of Rombauer's homespun intent and claim that her accessible voice is gone. Yet this revised American classic is essential. The recipes are still unfussy, e.g., a simple tapenade uses ordinary canned olives. No matter how far the new Joy has altered its initial purpose, it remains one of the most complete, all-purpose cookbooks available. Since a majority of the old recipes are gone, however, both past and current editions belong on the shelf. -?Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I was saddened when I first read the new edition of Joy. The original character of the book, the reasons you ran to the shelf to pick it up, have been brutally edited out of this edition. This was the book that told you how to roast a turkey, make candy or cook preserves. I remember when I was young and I'd picked a huge batch of strawberries, I immediately got out my mother's dog eared copy and made strawberry preserves which were delicious. You can imagine my consternation when I was browsing through my "fancy" new edition, looking for that old recipe for preserves. IT WAS GONE. In it's place were recipes for Pad Thai and Pho. I love Asian food. I have several Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian cookbooks which introduce me properly to those cuisines by discussing their ingredients and the character of the food in detail. Exotic cuisines are not the reason I bought Joy. I bought Joy because I want the basics of cooking at my fintertips and I'm afraid some of those basics are gone. My recommendation: the 20 year old edition is still available. Buy that instead.
While I have dozens of cookbooks with exotic recipes, I've always relied on 'Joy' for those basics (like canning, preserving, freezing, substituting) and tips you can't find anywhere else. Sure, the new 'Joy' has discovered the food processor and microwave, but has discarded many of those tried and true basics along the way. If you want to replace your worn out, dog earred old copy, get the regular 'Joy', not the new, 'enhanced' one.
I liked the new slant of the Joy of Cooking, and thought I'd have a hard time giving up the old standbys from the 1975 ed. but reviewing the index, I realized that I rarely if ever made most of the dishes that the authors eliminated. I do miss the descriptions of different vegetables fruits, and techniques that I don't typically use on a daily basis, and I think this is a deficit in the latest edition, however, looking at the recipes, they are ones that I will more likely use. Another issue that I have with the new edition is the poor typeset. Ingredients are not clearly identified as in the last ed. where they were in bold type and indented, and most of the pages look run-on. I know that there are many more recipes than in the past, but the format and the index are sorely lacking and you really have to have a good idea of the ingredients or the final product to find the recipe you are looking for. The book is quite run-on and difficult to read, ho=wever, the recipes are widely varied and definitely TODAY
I remember joking with my mother about how if you wanted to roast a goat, you could find it in the Joy of Cooking. In other words, it was thorough to a fault, and somewhat esoteric at times. When my mother gave me a copy of the New Joy of Cooking, I was thrilled to see that the thoroughness of the new version had been applied to the tastes of cooks in the 1990s. I have found the cookbook especially helpful in providing instructions on techniques for baked goods and it contains one of the most delicious sets of marinade/rub recipies I have found. I also appreciate how a recipie has been included for almost every fruit and vegetable available in North America - I found an okra recipie to satisfy my son's curiosity after he had read about okra in a book. It was fabulous, and even the okra-haters had to admit that Joy of Cooking had given them a new appreciation for the much-maligned veggie. In response to those horrified by the changes, those of us born after 1965 no longer divide our diets between "our food" (meat, potatoes, etc.) and "their food" (pad thai, tofu, tapas, chorizo, etc.) I appreciate a general cookbook that gives me access to recipies that encompass the full range of my diet. New Joy editors, you will be vindicated and celebrated for this great new volume!
As a long time afficionado of the first Joy, I was wary to buy this one, especially after closely following the making of it. I wasn't sure a collaborative effort among some twenty chefs -- two or three per chapter -- could equal Irma's ability to make good cooking easily understood, even to a rank beginner, as I was when I was first introduced to Joy. The new edition has many good changes. It has greatly expanded the non red-meat sections in keeping with today's lifestyles. Many of the recipes also include ideas for lowering the fat and cholesterol. The problems come in when a beginning cook tries to make something as simple as scrambled eggs, and is instructed to first read "About scrambled eggs" which delivers an interesting, but complicated version of how French master chefs prepare this dish. While I do not doubt the excellence of a true French-style scrambled egg, in my mind the instructions for making scrambled eggs should read "Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Pour into a heated pan, stirring frequently with a spatula, until firm." The original Joy, written from the perspective of a midwestern housewife for other midwestern housewives, made cooking seem easy. If you had a saucepan and a pantry, you had dinner. Irma gave suggestions on how to stretch a budget by turning leftovers into casseroles, and even advocated using canned foods as time-savers. This new Joy reads more like a gourmet cookbook than the "all-purpose" one it claims to be. However, if you already own the original Joy of Cooking, especially an older edition (mine is from 1951!), the New Joy is a fantastic supplement. It may be the only cookbook in which it is possible to find both a recipe for a French rolled omelet, and tuna casserole made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup.