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Good Cookbooks

"He liked those literary cooks
Who skim the cream of others' books."

—Hannah More

Quick page jumps:

About Good Cookbooks

The world is full of cookbooks. You can see an extensive list of, and search within, most of the cookbooks that The Book Depository knows about--and they do know books--at our online cookbook shop. But there are cookbooks and there are cookbooks. We have thus tried to extract and present, out of that mammoth total, a selection of particularly fine exemplars of the art. Note carefully that we don't begin to pretend that this is an exhaustive or exclusive list of "all the best" cookbooks; that would be ridiculous. We do believe, though, that each of these books is something rather special, and that none is anything less than excellent.

On what basis do we make these judgements? Certainly not sheerly on our own expertise. But if we are not world-class expert cooks, one thing that we think we are fairly good at is "data mining"--the extraction of information from the work of others. We have put what turned into a remarkable amount of time into poring over the writings of those folk who do seem to have the expertise and authority to pronounce on cookbooks, and sifting through and cross-comparing those various sources. From their expertise, not ours, we have gleaned this list.

Because our list is a fairly long one, we have subdivided it into categories, each with its own page here. Where it seemed to us hard to pigeonhole a given book, we have listed it in all categories that seemed appropriate (for example, some books on "French cooking" could be classed as "regional" or as "basic" cookbooks--so we put many in both places).

The Cookbook-Lists Presentation Format

Here is a typical listing; notes on it appear below the listing:

book cover How to Cook without a Book:
 Recipes and Techniques Every
 Cook Should Know by Heart

by Pam Anderson

Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
USD $24.50
Price and availability from The Book Depository.
Available - ships in 2 business days

The title expresses the idea: don't learn recipes, learn cooking. Anderson sets out to give the reader a sound grasp, to be well and truly memorized, of how to cook, technique by technique (even to little mnemonic rhymes). And, to read the reviews, she succeeds admirably.

The title and the cover image are each a click-on link to a full page about the book, with all sorts of detail and extra information, plus the opportunity to then buy the book if you choose.

The author name (or each author's name if there is more than one) is a click-on link to a search of The Book Depository for other books by that author (or, sometimes, other authors who happen to have the same name).

The price and availability shown on each page are each a snapshot taken when the page was last prepared (normally every morning); the detail page for the book will give you the exact current price and availability. That is especially important in the case of the occasional book that shows "Out of stock" for availability. Sometimes such books are just that: temporarily out of stock. Other times, the books are simply no longer in print, and so not available new. In the case of temporary lack of stock, the Book Depository detail page will give you a simple way to be notified by email as soon as the book is back in stock (you don't even have to register or anything); if the book is permanently unavailable new, you will be given a click-on link to the Abebooks used-books offerings for that book—so if you find a book possibly interesting from its listing, do click through even if it says "out of stock".

Finally, for some books there is some commentary on the book; those commentaries are by us, and most books don't have them (yet) because it is a tediously long job creating them; just do recall that a given book wouldn't be on these lists at all if it hadn't been showered with praise by experts on cooking and cookbooks.

(Incidentally, the links in the sample above really do work, so you can try the links right now; each brings up a new browser tab or window, so you won't lose your place here by clicking.)

Within the various categories (and the sub-categories some have) we have generally arranged the books alphabetically by author's (or principal author's) last name, to avoid any false notion of preference. In a few sub-categories, though (as will be obvious on inspection), we tried to clump up related-topic books.

The Various Cookbook Lists



Perhaps interested in growing some of your own vegetables and fruits to cook with? Click here to visit the Growing Taste gourmet home-gardening web site!
Like wine with your food (or on its own)? Click here to visit That Useful Wine Site: advice & recommendations for both novices and experts.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 17 June 2017, at 11:09 pm Pacific Time.