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Old 12-08-2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Looking for International Food encyclopedia

What Im looking for , is not necessarily a recipe book, But more like a book that describes the different cuisines from around the world ( countries, cultures, regions ...).

What ingredients, cooking styles.... or whatever makes a food specific to a certain type of cuisine.

pictures ideal
recipes a plus
prefer reference like than reading.


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Old 12-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #2
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It has been a while since I've had the opportunity to look through this book but I believe it might be what you are looking for...Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique....check it out.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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We have a copy of Larousse. It's really more like an illustrated encyclopedia, and appears to be rather French-centric.

We have an old Cooking Encyclopedia published by the Cuinary Arts Institute (of America) and a newer book by them called The New Professional Chef, which I believe is actually a text book that was used in their courses. The old Cooking Encyclopedia is America and Euro-centric, however.

We also have a few books in the Culinaria series -- the two volume set on European cooking and then a copy of Culinaria: The United States. Because the US is a melting pot of so many different cultures, the above volume does discuss some of the more popular foods from around the world, e.g., the section on Texas discusses Mexican food, and the section on California discusses sushi. But it isn't what I'd call comprehensive, by any stretch.

My wife and I collect cookbooks and books on cooking, and we have several hundred of them. I can't say, though, that we have any single book, or set, that encompasses foods of the world. The closest we would probably get would be a Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, a 12 volume set that was probably published in the 60s or 70s. And without pulling a volume off the shelf, I'd be willing to bet that it's Western-centric as well.

One reason why we have collected so many cookbooks is because that's apparently what it takes if you want to have a nice collection of recipes of foods and cooking techniques from around the world. Another is that we've found that the older cookbooks, dating back to, say, the 1950s, take a different approach to cooking than the modern books do, and it's interesting to see how cooking styles have evolved over time. For example, I have an old Good Housekeeping cookbook that was my grandmothers, and dates back to the 1940s. It discusses things like plucking chickens. Nonetheless it's one of the cookbooks I refer to most often, simply because of the simple purity of its many recipes and the fact that it is quintessentially an American cookbook.

So anyway, short of doing as we've done, I dunno what else to tell you, especially if you're intersted in cooking styles of the Middle and Far East. Or, say, South America. Or Africa. But if you run across a comprehensive encyclopedic source that does a good job of covering the world's cuisines, please let is know. Because I'd like to add it to our collection.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:45 AM   #4
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Modern cooking evolved out of the mineral wealth of the area or country,
ie Ireland =Peat long slow cooking =Irish Stew
England= Coal=Roasting
S/China =Wood= fast high heat=wok cooking
N/China=charcoal= fire pots.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:48 AM   #5
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I dont think there is a single encyclopedia for international Food, there is too many !

Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique is only on french traditional cuisine.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:18 PM   #6
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Excellent reply, cooltouch! I'll note some of that stuff myself!

I also have and recommend the "Visual Food Encyclopedia", a Canadian publication in English from Quebec/Amerique

It augments all of my cookbooks beautifully.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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I recommend Food Lover's Companion : Comprehensive definitions of nearly 6000 culinary terms. This reference book has definitions and answers to questions about cooking techniques, meat cuts, kitchen utensils, foods, wines, cocktail terms, dishes and much more. 772 pages and very reasonably priced on Amazon.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookbook Shop View Post
I recommend Food Lover's Companion : Comprehensive definitions of nearly 6000 culinary terms. This reference book has definitions and answers to questions about cooking techniques, meat cuts, kitchen utensils, foods, wines, cocktail terms, dishes and much more. 772 pages and very reasonably priced on Amazon.
This is really just a dictionary, though I find it very helpful.

I absolutely love the Culinaria series.
cuisinaria - Google Search

Ingredients, cooking styles, regional variations, history, etc.

Rich with pictures!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookbook Shop View Post
I recommend Food Lover's Companion : Comprehensive definitions of nearly 6000 culinary terms. This reference book has definitions and answers to questions about cooking techniques, meat cuts, kitchen utensils, foods, wines, cocktail terms, dishes and much more. 772 pages and very reasonably priced on Amazon.
I like it and refer to mine often, but it's a dictionary.

I adore the Culinaria series.
culinaria - Google Search



Rich with pictures. Comprehensive information that makes foodies drool. Ingredients, cooking styles, regional variations, history.

They are often in the bargain bins at Borders.
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