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"The Cook's Book": concise vs. regular edition?


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I just received a copy of "The Cook's Book - Concise Edition" edited by Jill Norman, and now I'm curious, what's the difference to the full edition? Supposedly it has 648 pages compared to 496 in this edition, and it appears to be much larger in size if the info on us.dk.com is correct. Other than that I can't find any info what the difference might be. It's a neat book with lots of photos about techniques etc, and lots of recipes. As with any DK book production values are high.

If the contents are the same, I'm happy with the smaller version, but I'd really like to know what I might be missing on those 150 or so pages. If it's just filler, I don't care. If it's some fantastic recipes, I do care....

Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.

Thanks!

Oliver

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I just received a copy of "The Cook's Book - Concise Edition" edited by Jill Norman, and now I'm curious, what's the difference to the full edition? Supposedly it has 648 pages compared to 496 in this edition, and it appears to be much larger in size if the info on us.dk.com is correct. Other than that I can't find any info what the difference might be. It's a neat book with lots of photos about techniques etc, and lots of recipes. As with any DK book production values are high.

If the contents are the same, I'm happy with the smaller version, but I'd really like to know what I might be missing on those 150 or so pages. If it's just filler, I don't care. If it's some fantastic recipes, I do care....

Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.

Thanks!

Oliver

I can tell you at least one difference in the contents: the Ferran Adria chapter on foams is excluded from the concise edition. Given that you appear to be interested in that subject, you might want to trade up to the full edition, if you can do that without offending whoever you received it from!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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great, figures... I received it from myself, but it was only $15 and makes a nice gift. Seems to be a quite good food, interesting in that each chapter is by a particular chef who's known in that particular area. Lots of photos too.

Thanks! Do you have the long version, and if so, is the foam section useful? With that I mean, not using extraterrestrial mollusk extracts or 27 times filtered and strained berry purees, but things one can actually obtain or make?

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Yeah, I have the full edition, which I bought specifically because of the foam section. (I got it second-hand, so it wasn't terribly expensive.)

The foams in it are mostly a reproduction (and translation) of the PDF file that used to be available online, outlining the different methods and types of foams Adria makes. The section is short, but really worthwhile - especially when you consider the price of the el Bulli books and the usefulness of the rest of this book!

The actual recipes all look pretty straightforward, and some of them are complete dishes, which helps if you're still learning to integrate foams into a broader context. The recipes are "Raspberry, Yogurt and Mango Foam", "Meringue Tart", "Pistachio Foam", "Frozen Chocolate Mousse", "Mayonnaise Foam with Asparagus", "Gin Fizz Cocktail", "Cappuccino Almond Foam with Truffle Juice", "Catalan Cream Foam", "Potato Foam", "Coconut Foam & Lemon Gelatin". Not a hugely long list, but a great cross-section.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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A question, just out of interest - I have the UK 648 page edition.

Has this excellent book been Bowdlerised for the US market, or does it still give weight measures throughout, metric first with imperial in brackets?

Does it retain Dan Lepard's comments about the advantages of metric weighing (3rd column on page 459)?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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It looks to me like it's been largely "adjusted" for the US market: Some of the recipes use weight, but most do not, and those that do have imperial first, followed by metric in parentheses. There is a column called "Weighing Ingredients" on p. 459, and all of the bread recipes seem to be given in cups first, with a metric weight in parentheses. I can see how this might detract from the overall utility of the book, but not enough to discourage me from recommending it!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Thanks for that, mkayahara - its a very wide-ranging technique book, and IMHO excellent value (particularly when discounted).

However, especially converting Dan Lepard's quantities to cups, it does illustrate the extent of dumbing-down insisted upon by US editors.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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makes me wonder if it's worth seeking out the British edition? Would be interesting to compare if more than just the weights got changed. I'd guess they had to adjust for certain meat cuts you can't get here etc? DK has no info about the short version I can find on their site. I'd never have ordered it, but even on Amazon it's not all that clear, and most of the reviews and descriptions are for the long version, a bit misleading.

Since I only paid $15 I don't really care, it'll be a nice gift to give and most probably could not care less about making foams etc.

Still, they could make it more obvious...

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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