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The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference Paperback – October 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047055424X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470554241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a yam and a sweet potato? Or gotten home from the farmers' market and thought, "Now what on earth do I do with fiddlehead ferns?" The Culinarian holds the answers to these and many more culinary conundrums, such as how to trim an artichoke or choose a ripe cantaloupe. This illuminating culinary dictionary includes clear, plain-English definitions for thousands of food terms from Absinthe to Zucchini, as well as tips on selecting, storing, and using every ingredient and piece of kitchen equipment imaginable.

The ideal complement to your favorite cookbook, The Culinarian is chock-full of captivating food trivia and history, plus information on measurements, yields and equivalents, and other useful tidbits. Flip to any page and delve into fascinating culinary trivia, or use it to pinpoint the information you need to get dinner on the table tonight. No matter how you use it, The Culinarian is a must-have kitchen reference for anyone who loves to cook.

About the Author

Barbara Ann Kipfer is a lexicographer and an enthusiastic culinarian. The bestselling author of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About and other list, reference, archaeology, and spiritual books, she holds PhDs in linguistics, archaeology, and Buddhist studies and has worked as a lexicographer and ethnographer for more than thirty years. Her website is thingstobehappyabout.com.

More About the Author

www.thingstobehappyabout.com

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dee Long on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
We classify Barbara Ann Kipfer's "The Culinarian" as an armchair cookbook, not one filled with recipes, but one filled with all sorts of fascinating food and foodie information that makes for great reading during a rainy weekend.
Don't know what Arugula is? Does a recipe call for Pico de Gallo? Stumped by how to create a bundt cake or use dill weed in recipes? The Culinarian has the answer! There are also great hints incorporated into some descriptions for making purchasing decisions, along with tips designed to make anything from pie crust to cooked cauliflower turn out much better.
If the TV gameshow "Jeopardy" had to invest in one food encyclopedia for reference, we'd recommend "The Culinarian". Certainly a very worthwhile investment for any home chef's library.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Imboden on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My boyfriend has recently become very interested in cooking and food. He is a curious person so he often asks me questions about food and sometimes I don't know the answer. I got him this book for Christmas after seeing it was highly recommended. When it came in the mail I almost considered keeping it for myself! It is very descriptive and now he can answer his own questions about the origin of foods, their names, flavors, etc. My favorite section is in the back, where you can look up specific flavors and see what other flavors pair with it. A good reference for anyone looking to know more about their food!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. W. H. on October 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It's hard to go more than a few pages without spotting something highly questionable.

For example classification errors like calling nutmeg and onion "herbs" (neither is an herb). Or items that really should be clarified in a reference, like calling chili pepper a "vegetable" when botanically it is a fruit.

And then there are the long, strange lists with unqualified items in them. Many of these contribute nothing and some are even confusing. Like the "condiments" list that contains items like "leek" and "sashimi", which I don't think anyone would classify as condiments on their own, "herb" and "Tabasco" which are only condiments in certain forms, and then "sauce" and "seasoning" which are so non-specific that they have no place in such a list.

These are just a few examples of the lack of care taken in assembling this book. Clearly the methods of lexicography were used to assemble this book, but I wonder if anyone who knows anything about cooking was given a chance to edit it. It would seem not.
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By jack caraveo on July 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my culinary school classes.
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By Mimi Genobaga on April 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought a paperback copy last time for my brother who is studying culinary for his reference and he said it's a great reference book and helpful too. So I decided to buy the kindle edition since I have kindle with me :)
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