A descriptive compendium of just about everything we eat and how we cook itâ€”selected as â€śone of the greatest cookbooks of all timeâ€ť (Waitrose Food Illustrated).
Arranged alphabetically from Abalone to Zampone, Cookâ€™s Encyclopedia covers the majority of foods and processes used in cooking. Hundreds of ingredients are described, with English and foreign synonyms and scientific names; recipes are given in many cases to illustrate the use of the foodstuff in question. Cooking processesâ€”including bottling, brewing, brining, curing, smoking, and vacuumingâ€”are explained in great and illuminating detail. The aim is to both entertain and to instructâ€”in particular, to give a sense of the essence and individuality of each ingredient. Tom Stobart traveled widely, both as an explorer and a filmmaker, and his book was informed by an eye for telling details.
Many fans say they would be lost without this book, which segues effortlessly between exhaustive reference work and handy recipe book, and back again. It explains the world of the kitchen, whether youâ€™re a beginner or an old hand, revealing the facts behind foods, equipment, and techniques. Stobart describes how baking powder works, for instance, the temperature at which bacteria grow, and how to make your own tomato ketchup, so every time you dip into this book, youâ€™ll be better equipped to return to the stove.
â€śA MUST, comprehensive, well-organized and well-written . . . a serious and important work of reference.â€ť â€”Alan Davidson, author of The Oxford Companion to Food