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The Food Encyclopedia: Over 8,000 Ingredients, Tools, Techniques And People (Anglais) Relié – 2 novembre 2006

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Book by Rolland Jacques Sherman Carol

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29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lots of little mistakes. Other books are better! Good Biogs. 9 mars 2007
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
`the food encyclopedia' by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman with `other contributors' is published by the Canadian publisher, `Robert Rose, Inc.', a specialist in culinary volumes with `Bible' or `Encyclopedia' in their titles. Some of these volumes, by their sheer size and volume of information, such as the `Food Substitution Bible' by David Joachim are genuinely worthy of their pretentious titles. With this volume, one should start to question its authority as soon as you see it's falsely modest all lower-case title.

The long and the short of it is that any book of this size and cost, with it's `encyclopedic' pretensions is asking you to take it as an authority on its subject. Lamentably, with about a third of the articles I read, the authority of this book is simply laughable.

The most serious problems are simple factual errors. For example, in the article on the `metric system', it states that a centimeter is 100 millimeters long. A centimeter gets the 100 in its name from being a 1/100th of a meter, being only 10 millimeters long, a millimeter being 1/1000th of a meter. Other errors are just a bit subtler, as when in the article on `sodium', it is described as a `mineral'. This in itself is mistaken, as sodium, a very highly reactive metal, simply never occurs alone in nature. It has none of the properties of any mineral, which are generally compounds of a metal and a non-metal. The article compounds the error by saying its mineral name is `halite'. This is the name of common salt or sodium chloride. An even more serious howler is in the article on `nitrate', which is described as an `organic' compound. All, I say ALL compounds identified with the name `nitrate', such as sodium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, and on and on, are INORGANIC compounds!

These two gross errors found after reading no more than a dozen articles reduces my faith in the technical accuracy of the book to a minimum.

The cover of the book brags about having entries on 8,000 ingredients, tools, techniques, and people. Regarding ingredients, I find a lot of variability in the articles. In an `encyclopedia', I would expect that every article on a distinct plant or animal would include the scientific name of it. There may be some vague rule at work here, but it doesn't make any sense to me to give the scientific name for New Zealand spinach, but do not give it for `nigella seeds' (or more accurately, the plant from which nigella seeds are harvested).

On `tools', I find the book incomplete, but possibly not totally useless. There is an article for `China cap', but none for `chinois', or even any reference to `chinois' in the `China cap' article. I'll give our editors a small pass on this one, as the `Larousse Gastronomique' has an article on `chinois', but none on `China Cap' (and I do believe there is a small difference between the two).

But this brings up an important question. If you do not already own a copy of the `Larousse Gastronomique', the foremost authority on European cooking knowledge, why would you spend a sizable amount of money on this flawed book when for about half again the price, you can get a true authority.

This is not the end of the problems for this tome. One of its very best attributes is its sidebar articles of culinary biographies. I find the effort spent on this feature has given us an excellent selection of subjects, with practically no lightweight celebrities included. For example, it's longest biographies, including photographic portraits, are reserved for the most important 20th century culinary figures, such as the great American triad, James Beard, Craig Claiborne, and Julia Child. Among other American culinary notables, we get Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, M. F. K. Fisher, Jacques Pepin, Paul Prudhomme, Harold McGee, Irma Rombauer, Pierre Franey, and Ella Eaton Kellogg. The last is interesting because neither her husband, John Harvey Kellogg, the founder of the Kellogg's food company nor other famous American food entrepreneurs such as H. J. Heinz or Milton Hershey are profiled. I was especially pleased to find articles on two Elizabeth David protégés, Jane Grigson and Alan Davidson, as well as the influential American expatriate writer, Richard Olney.

The selection is based almost entirely on those who have had an intellectual impact on American culinary habits. Thus, Waters and Prudhomme are in, but there is no mention of Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, or any other `Food Network' fave. There is not even any mention of the Food Network, which may have been an oversight. But even this very nice feature has its flaws. Three oversights should tell the tale. The article on Jacques Pepin cites his years at Howard Johnson's test kitchen, but says nothing of this fact about Pierre Franey, even though Pepin was Franey's subordinate at this company. The article on the very much alive Diana Kennedy gives her date as `early 20th century'. The article on Julia Child gives the impression that Madame Child first enrolled in cooking school while living in the United States, and it was not for several years after that when she and her husband went to work in Paris. In fact, the two were married in 1946, moved to Paris in 1948, where Julia almost immediately enrolled in `Le Cordon Bleu'.

Overall, this book shows a dismal lack of editing and accuracy. Save your money for better books such as 'Larousse' or Alan Davidson's 'The Oxford Companion to Food' or 'The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America'.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lots of Range; Little Depth 10 août 2011
Par Chris Anton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I find this useful once in a great while. It does have a fabulous number of entries, but none of those entries are of encyclopedic depth. Labeling this a dictionary would be far more accurate. If you just want a quick "Oh, that's' what it is!" answer, this is a fairly good resource. I have to admit I found entries such as a profile of the person who developed ammonia-based refrigerants moderately interesting, but definitely not something I'd be looking up for food knowledge. There are some bad editorial decisions, such as using illustration space to show what dry-measure measuring cups might look like as opposed to showing what some of the more unusual food ingredients look like. This certainly is not up to college textbook level, however a student taking high school home economics cooking classes would probably find it very useful. Final verdict: Had I known the contents, I would not have purchased it.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It has only 1 picture out of every 2 pages. 24 juillet 2007
Par Cestmoi - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
How can a book call itself "Encyclopedia" but it has only 1 picture out of every 2 pages? That means a lot of food mentioned in this book does not have an illustration!

It also has basic errors. For example, it says a centimeter is 100 millimeters long. In fact, one centimeter is only 10 millimeters long. This makes the accuracy of the book questionable.
Big Book Small Ideas 25 décembre 2013
Par JoPop - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I received this book today as a Christmas gift after suggesting to my wife that it would make a fine gift. I was about to roast a chicken today and looked for tips thinking that I might learn something new or of use. What a waste. It has about 13 items listed for chicken, and nowhere does it offer any tips on preparing the many chicken dishes one can prepare.. I wasn't expecting a recipe book but was hoping to find tips and instructions on the preparation of basic home style dishes. I don't know who would find this tome of any use at all. I can find what a roaster is by just doing an internet search for roaster. This is something you'd expect to find in the bookstores bargain bin and even then it would be a waste of money. Door stop it is. If it wasn't Christmas I'd be P'd O.
Food Reference Book, A little bit of everything and then some 19 août 2009
Par Lila V. Hamilton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Purchased the Food Encycloedia, so I would have a reference book for my library that was unique. I have numerous cookboks and dictionaries, but this book contains just about everything about food, and what you would need to cook it, grow it etc. Nicely illustrated. Its a great reference book and I purchased another one to give to my newly wed son and his wife instead of bringing a bottle of wine for dinner. This will last them much longer and just like me I know once you have it, you will use it to see, if its got a reference for those gooseberries, one of your recipes calls for and you never heard of. Great reference book for food and things you would use to process same. Gives you a little history lesson too, very interesting, Lila Hamilton
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