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World’s Most Expensive Cookbook

September 6, 2011, 4:09 pm


For all you serious foodies and cookbook collectors out there, a new cookbook has just been released that is selling for about $460 on Amazon. Modernist Cuisine is a 6-volume, 2,438-page set that is supposedly des­tined to rein­vent cook­ing. The lav­ishly illus­trated books use thou­sands of orig­i­nal images to make the sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy clear and engaging. Although the photography is, indeed, top notch and extremely interesting with images of pots of food over a flame cut in half, some of the images, however, look like extraterrestrial cuisine. For example, the mussels suspended in spheres of their own shucking juices made through the process of reverse spherification. Not exactly what most home cooks would spend their time doing after a long day at the office. But it’s worth looking at the pictures.

For a more down to earth cookbook, I recommend “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It’s a cookbook but it’s also an education on how to eat based on what our ancestors ate. Fallon explains how there are no traditional societies anywhere that are completely vegan and that we all relied on some form of animal product to sustain health. So vegans may be at odds with this book but it is still worth reading to check out her arguments.

This American Vegetarian is pretty old now (published in 1990) but I still like the recipes and enjoy the writing style of the author. She makes everything sound delicious and the dishes I’ve tried all turned out well. It’s a good, basic vegetarian cookbook, especially if you are attempting to eat less meat.

The Book of Whole Meals by Annemarie Colbin of the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC (where I went to school) is another good, basic vegetarian cookbook with ideas for entire meals. Ms. Colbin is the founder of the Institute and is extremely knowledgeable about healthy, whole foods cooking.

There are so many good cookbooks out there. These are just a few, although I confess I rarely use cookbooks anymore and simply cook whatever is in my fridge. If you have enough basic cooking skills, you eventually stop reading recipes, although following them in the beginning of one’s cooking career is a great way to learn.

Check out Mark Bittman’s list of his 50 favorite cookbooks. Mark Bittman is a food writer with the New York Times.

Posted by Oryana at 4:09 pm
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