From Publishers Weekly
Cox (Cellaring Wine
), a veteran organic gardener, provides an encyclopedic guide to organic ingredients from fruits and vegetables to meats and dairy products, plus "kitchen staples" like coffee, bouillon and flour. Unlike most reference books, his is filled with personal touches: sidebars like "My Favorite Cherries" and "Keep an Eye Out for Black Walnuts" tell about Cox's encounters with foods, and even within the technical portions of the entries—which give information on nutrition, seasonality, storage, preparation and so on, as well as brief, fascinating histories of a food's cultivation—Cox often takes a personal approach. There are recipes using nearly every ingredient, most prepared simply to highlight a particular flavor, as in potent Rosemary Pesto, but others incorporate a food into heartier fare, like Caraway-Infused Pork. Though Cox's frequent pauses to extol organic food's virtues are of the preaching-to-the-choir variety, his abundant, knowledgeable advice on how to find and use the best products, and his presentation of special varieties of the ingredients make this a helpful resource for shoppers who are both bewildered and excited by the offerings in an ever-expanding field. Color photos not seen by PW
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A comprehensive guide to foodstuffs, this valuable reference tool empowers the reader with practical knowledge for identifying and making use of almost every edible. After a discussion of what constitutes organic food, Cox inventories vegetables in alphabetic order. Beyond commonplace asparagus, beets, carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, and their ilk, Cox includes cardoons, crosnes, ground cherries, and even seaweed. For each entry, he gives a brief history, its organic cultivation, nutrition, types, seasonality, selection hints, preparation, and uses. Each citation has a recipe or two featuring the item as an ingredient. He provides identical treatment for fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, herbs, spices, meats, dairy products, eggs, and kitchen staples such as chocolate, oils, flours, and wine. A supplemental chapter covers special varieties of vegetables and fruits that occasionally appear in markets. A list of sources complete with Web addresses helps identify organically oriented dealers. Although Cox openly advocates for organic foods, his encompassing approach eschews food fanaticism. The wealth of practical information crowding these pages makes this an indispensable resource. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved