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The Food Substitutions Bible: More than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques Paperback – September 3, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


From abalone to zwieback, The Food Substitution Bible by David Joachim is one of the best resources on the subject. (Kansas City Star 2009-10-27)

A terrific resource... an instant must-have reference in my kitchen, and I know of nothing like it... a great way to come up with ideas. (Dana Carpender Ventura County Star 2006-12-13)

Most informative... I find I am using it all the time... information about the characteristics of foods, equivalents, and measurements. (Peg Rahn Pasadena Star-News 2006-03-28)

Entries are careful, offering definitions, detailed substitutions and often including suggestion for varying flavors or boosting nutrition. (Food Network Kitchens Orange County Register 2006-08-10)

Well-researched, well-tested reference book... The guy is seriously detailed-oriented... endlessly useful. (Andrea Clurfeld Neptune Asbury Park Press 2005-09-14)

This book is a must-have for the serious cook. All charts, no recipes and no prose. Useful when you need it. (Marlene Parrish Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2005-12-15)

A compendium of alternatives for everything from allspice to wild rice. (Plus antelope, alligator, bear... (Aleta Watson San Jose Mercury News 2005-11-23)

Packed with useful information... more than two pages of substitutes for butter alone. (Janice Okun Buffalo News 2005-12-25)

If you're out of an ingredient, want to use a healthier choice or desire to change the flavor of a recipe... this would be handy reference for any cook to keep on the bookshelf. (Natalie Haughton Los Angeles Daily News 2005-09-13)

With the world pantry at our fingertips, today we need a guide; this is the hands-down best I have ever found... you need this book. (Susan Miller Lewisboro Ledger 2006-01-19)

This is the book to turn to when you've found what you want to make in another cookbook but are unable or unwilling to run to the store for a special ingredient or pan. (Kim Davaz Eugene Register-Guard 2005-12-07)

It is truly the bible of food substitutions and should be in every reader's kitchen. It is alphabetized from Abalone to Zugenwurst to Zwieback and includes over 600 pages and 5,000 substitutions for every ingredient, piece of equipment or technique you could ever imagine. There are even two pages of substitutions for butter! (Sue Epstein Jerusalem Post 2009-09-24)

Full of very practical information such as how to substitute different pan sizes, charts for chilies, flours and grains and oils... A must for the inquisitive cook. (Jennifer Mackenzie Peterborough Examiner 2005-12-07)

More than 5,000 substitutions for almost every type of food... directions for making reliable replacements. (Sharon Thompson Knight Ridder Newspapers 2005-09-28)

Offering practical information and great ideas, this book is packed with creative solutions for the home kitchen as well as the commerical. (Detroit News 2005-09-29)

A solid, useful work on using substitute ingredients and tools in the home kitchen... a clearly written and well-organized book. (Andrea Dietze Library Journal)

625 pages of highly useful information... If you've got questions, Joachim's got answers. Highly recommended. (Restaurant Hospitality)

A blessing to cooks all over... 5,000 substitutions for almost every kind of food, ingredient and measurement imaginable. (Jo Ellen O'Hara Birmingham News 2005-10-26)

This great book is packed with more than 5,000 creative solutions and fascinating info on everything from exotic ingredients to common cooking techniques. (Lynn Nusom Las Cruces Sun-News 2005-11-15)

A complex, valuable guide to alternative ingredients, techniques and equipment. (Douglas Levy Oakland Press 2005-11-28)

[This] is one of the best resources on the subject. (Jill Wendholt Silva Houston Star-Telegram 2009-08-07)

About the Author

David Joachim has authored or edited more than 25 cookbooks. His book A Man, A Can, A Plan has sold more than 800,000 copies. He lives in Pennsylvania.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 621 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Rose (September 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778801195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778801191
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 40 cookbooks, including the IACP Award-winning reference books, The Food Substitutions Bible and The Science of Good Food, which also won a World Gourmand Award for Best Food Literature Book, a Cordon d'Or Award for Best Culinary Reference Book, and was a finalist for both a World Food Media Award and a James Beard Award. He wrote A Man, A Can, A Plan, and A Man, A Can, A Grill, a New York Times bestseller. Joachim's "A Man, A Can..." series of books has sold more than 1 million copies. His website is www.davejoachim.com and his favorite cooking tool is a leaf blower.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
`The Food Substitutions Bible' by David Joachim runs a big risk in assuming such a pretentious title, as it simply invites a search for things which are missing in order to take it down a peg or two. I have to say, however, that compared to several other `bible' titles published by this `Robert Rose, Inc.' company, this book more than lives up to its promise. On the way, it happens to fill a great need in one's culinary library.

Most good cooking manuals have substitutions and `how to make' for several of the more common pantry items such as buttermilk, lemon juice, crème fraiche, and preserved lemons. It it's an especially good book, it may have as many as 100 such substitutions. This book advertises `more than 5000 substitutions'. The book doesn't just stop at one substitution or recipe for each item. Many options have three or four or five. It also does not stop with formulas or recipes. It does an excellent job, for example, of giving substitutions for common cooking tools such as a zester or a potato ricer.

Of course, I could not resist trying to find things the book missed. I am happy to say I did find a few, but I am also happy to say that with one exception, they were all very obscure. I found no entries for the ancient Roman fermented fish sauce, `garum' or the traditional French sour grape condiment, `verjus' or the middle eastern spice, `Aleppo pepper' or the North African pantry item, salt preserved lemon. I think all these are fair, in that I have seen recipes for all these in at least one cookbook and I have seen all of them used in at least two modern cookbooks.

I also felt some of the substitutions were just a bit less than useful, as the item being substituted may have been just as hard or harder to come by than the missing ingredient.
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Format: Paperback
We believe in a Kitchen Murphy's Law that says sooner or later you're in the middle of a recipe and find out you are missing a key ingredient. Thank goodness for David Joachim's researching skills because the second edition of "The Food Substitutions Bible" is an amazing compilation of just what will work in place of the original thing.
We love the A to Z organization of this book so it's easy to quickly find the perfect subtitute for anything from coconut cream and parchment paper to bleu cheese and guar gum. This bible is sure to save the day because you will never have to ruin a recipe again thanks to the wrong or missing ingredient!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, even though like others stated, some of the items were so obscure I had never heard of them! LOL. Saying that, I would still recommend it highly for anyone who cooks. I mean who hasn't started cooking and realized they did not have an essential ingredient. I looked up several of my favorites items to see if any of the substitutions were feasible, most were. Each of the ingredients in their reference book includes a description of the item, i.e. Durum Flour: finely ground durum (high-gluten) wheat.

One of the features I liked about the book is that some of the listed ingredients, i.e. butter and all-purpose flour, include substitutions "To Vary the Flavor" or "For Better Health". Many of the substitutions also include info on how it might affect your recipe. For example, if you look up Butter, the "For Better Health" substitution states: 1/2 butter and 1/2 vegetable oil, best "for baking, especially quick breads and some cookie doughs: reduce baking time slightly; baked goods will be slightly more chewy; use pastry or cake flour for lighter texture..." This kind of info is just the thing to help make me a better cook.

The final sections include ingredient tables for common foods and include direction of what they are best suited (cooking, baking, eating). Other tables include ingredients with characteristics of each variety and what can be substituted within the categories (potatoes, beans, pears, apples, olives, legumes, lentils, mushrooms and more).

I definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves cook.
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This book deserves 5 stars on several accounts: 1) Sheer number of and variety of ingredients included;I thought I was fairly well read on food but I am learning all matter of new things--jaggery, anybody? Caerphilly? 2) Cookware is listed, too. 3)Lay-out: items are listed alphabetically, each with a straightforward description and specific quantities of the recommended subsitutions. 4)Obviously, a lot of very careful research went into this reference. 5)I've had it several months now and it continues to prove its usefulness time and time again.

The guiding scenario for the book is the cook who is trying to follow a recipe faithfully but lacks a required ingredient or implement. This is not for the person who has food allergies and sensitivities--most substitutions are from the same family of foods. Likewise, the cook who wants to make the stew calling for a cup of mushrooms but has a mushroom phobe in the family and is looking for something else to take their place is not going to find that kind of information.
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By L. Hunt on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Almost any substitution you need! And more than one substitution is usually offered. They even tell you how many mini-marshmallows make up a large marshmallows; that's helpful. No one wants to buy marshmallow creme for one recipe calling for 1/2 cup...and then wonder what to do with the rest. Instead, make your own creme with marshmallows of any size and some corn syrup...Voila! I also like the boxes beside some ingredients, showing ounces, grams, cups, tablespoons. THAT is most helpful.

After having this book for two years, I still find it a great help, referring to it several times a month.
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