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Fine Cooking's list of 25 Cookbooks That Belong In Every Food Lover’s Library

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As part of Fine Cooking's 25 year anniversary, they have published a list of "25 Cookbooks That Belong In Every Food Lover’s Library"

 

9 of the 25 are baking or dessert books, a much larger proportion than my own collection, though that is an understandable personal preference. 

 

I'm sure there are nits one could pick about all of the books but I look particularly askance at the selection of Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italy as the only Italian cookbook.   Is it really on a par with the selections from Madhur Jaffery for Indian, Diana Kennedy for Mexican and David Thompson for Thai cookery?  I guess I should take a look at it. With the exception of Ms Jaffery, it's consistent with their choice of an Anglo interpreter for other cuisines.  And no Wolfert?  I guess Ottolenghi is covering parts of her world on the list. 

 

No China, Japan, pickling/fermentation.  Nothing modernist.  No classical French, unless Patricia Well's My Master Recipes is supposed to cover that, though I wouldn't agree. Nigel Slater's Tender is the one vegetable-seasonal eating book. I'll have to take a look at it to see if I think it's the be all in that category.

Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential is on the list.  I agree it's a great read but it wouldn't make my own list if I had to winnow them down to a top 25.  I've never looked at Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton at Home but it surprises me that it would be in anyone's top 25 collection.  

Maybe I should attempt my own personal "top 25" list, not that I would impose them on anyone else! 

 

What do you think about the Fine Cooking selection?  

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I confess I did not check out the list, but I will speak highly of Tender.  I have cooked a few things from it with quite good results -- most recently a braise of lamb shanks and leeks with beans -- and I enjoy reading it over and over.

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10 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I confess I did not check out the list, but I will speak highly of Tender.  I have cooked a few things from it with quite good results -- most recently a braise of lamb shanks and leeks with beans -- and I enjoy reading it over and over.

 

Thanks - perhaps it is indeed the be-all of vegetable cookery.  It's at my library so I will check it out.

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The list favors recent books and heavily promoted ones...and there’s lots to disagree with in their choices. 

 

Too many dessert books. 

 

 Bittman? Seriously?

 

No Vetri books for Italian?

 

No Pepin or Beard .....

 

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My list. In no particular order. Except the Collichio books deserve more acclaim. Insightful with great recipes. 

 

Tom Collichio “think like a chef” and “Craft of Cooking” 

Jacques Pepins Table

Mark Vetri Rustic Italian Food

Marcella Hazan  Essentials of Italian Cooking

The FrogCommisary Cookbook

Richard Olney Simple French Food

James Beards American Cookery

CIAs The Professional Chef

Bourdains Les Halles Cookbook

James Villas The Glory of Southern Cooking

Prudhomme Family Cookbook

Bouloud Daniel My French Cuisine

 

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Lists like this one are pure click bait for millennials, and have no basis in reality.

 

No Julia? No Marcella?   I mean, those books are iconic because, well, they're iconic.

 

Now that I read the "article," it looks like they're just picking books from their 25-year lifespan.

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I have Amanda Hesser's big book of NYT recipes, and I like it. But I would hardly put in on a top 25 list.

 

And I know it's contrary to popular opinion, but I LIKE Bittman.

 

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26 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

 

And I know it's contrary to popular opinion, but I LIKE Bittman.

 

 

My Bittman aversion is two parted.

 

First there's the association with Gwynneth Paltrow

 

And every recipe I've made from it has required serious modification in some facet or another.  It's way better than Joy of Cooking for a beginner, though, and I've given it to several.

 

Not a bad book just not Top 25 for me

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I'm with Weinoo, I think this list is targeted specifically at millenials, or whatever the current 25-year-olds are called.  The clue for me is the baking-heavy (which is how a lot of young people get seduced into the home-version of things). 

 

Once that crew subscribes en masse to Fine Cooking, the magazine can keep paying its printing bills, and lure them into the deep dive . . . . 

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I used to give Julia's The Way to Cook as a gift. A number of times. To me, a very, very good book by all measures. And of course, it can be had these days used for under $10. People would rather look at shiny IG type pictures than really learn how to cook from a book.


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"People would rather look at shiny IG type pictures than really learn how to cook from a book."

Exactly.

My first reaction to the list was similar to what's been said above.  No Marchella, Julia, Jacques, Wolfert, Claudia Roden, Irene Kuo and D Madison. 

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8 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

My Bittman aversion is two parted.

 

First there's the association with Gwynneth Paltrow

 

And every recipe I've made from it has required serious modification in some facet or another.  It's way better than Joy of Cooking for a beginner, though, and I've given it to several.

 

Not a bad book just not Top 25 for me

I bought How To Cook Everything very early in my getting-interested-in-something-beyond-casseroles-with-canned-soup stage of life. I will always be grateful to that book for his pizza dough recipe and his tutorial on how to make fried rice. It would have been worth the price of admission for that alone.

 

On the other hand, I made a hellacious mess of a steak trying to cook it by his stovetop iron skillet method, and wound up having to reseason the skillet after I scrubbed the burnt meat fond out of it.

 

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Publications, such as FC

 

a magazine i subscribe to

 

are like many publications these days :

 

they focus on providing approval for their audience 

 

why annoy them ?  they pay your bills.

 

NYTimes Food section does this

 

Consumer Reports does this

 

Im sure Test Kitchen does this , + churn churn churn

 

I don't want to be told Im A Dummy

 

Ive understood that for some time.

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Yeah....that strikes me as a strange list.  The individual books seem pretty good as far as I can tell,  but if they're saying these are the top 25 books you really need then I take issue with that. (I only own one of them, but I've looked through several of the others page by page in the bookstores and borrowed some from the library.)  

 

Maybe "25 Cookbooks That Belong in Every Food Lover's Library If Your Library Has a Few Hundred Cookbooks in It".

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There are two cookbooks in my collection I pull out over and over and over. One is the Marion Firefighters' Auxiliary cookbook, because it has recipes for the fudge and the pralines I make at Christmas. One is the Marion United Methodist Church cookbook, because it has the recipe I use for my dinner rolls and for the best chicken salad I ever ate. I used to pull out Bittman for pizza dough and fried rice until I committed those to memory. 

 

Other than those, the ones I use most are my King Arthur Flour book, Rose Levy Berenbaum's Bread Bible, and Beard on Bread. 

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Really? I'd pay Zuni, Thai Food and Kennedy. Then again, I'd put Larousse on my list, and the first Joe Beef book ... so my list is probably quite skewed.

 

Perhaps a more sensible suggestion -- rather than being Negative Nancy to the whole thing -- is to add Locatelli's Made in Italy. And perhaps in place of Larousse I'd put Complete Robuchon. Escoffier, too. I geek out on old sauces and I figure there are worse things to learn than the mother sauces, etc. Momofuku is one of my most-used books, so I guess it'd be on my personal top-25 too. 

 

Also, I like that they included a River Cottage book. I'd pick Meat, though. 

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