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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 October 2008
I bought this on a whim whilst shopping for another cookery book. It's a root and branch explanation of the history of ingrediants, origins of recipes and covers absolutely any dish you can think of, with the exception of far eastern food. If you love food you'll find this fascinating. If you want a reciepe then this book has it. It does have a strong French bias but I like that.
It's an encyclopedia and a wonderful reference book.
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on 2 March 2009
No cook( whatever their cooking skill level)/ discerning diner should be without a copy of this book. It is a great encyclopedia to give the reader a description of any food / dishes and some recipies also.
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on 2 June 2010
I run a small B&B in France and prepare evening meals almost every night for our guests - this book has proven to be invaluable to me if only because it translates all those cooking terms that you have heard of and never known what they mean! There are plenty of recipes for things that you could for search for in cook books or on the internet and have trouble finding. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has to cook - even if it is just for the family at home, as it could widen your repertoire without you even realising it! Bon appetit!
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on 12 October 2010
If you want to know the origins of the food you eat and many other technical aspects of cooking then you will not be disappointed with this. However if you are looking for easy to follow recipes with lots of glossy photographs then you will. This is the sort of book you will use for reference purposes although I enjoy just flicking through it.
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on 26 October 2011
This book isn't for the faint hearted, it's exactly what it says it is - an Encyclopaedia. It crammed full of information and recipes, it's very interesting to skim through, but it's not one to read from beginning to end. If you ever wondered about the roots of a particular dish, then this book will probably have the answer.
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on 11 October 2010
excellent reference material to culinary skills , used a course book to students studying City & Guils 7100 level 3 advanced professional cookery, reccomend to other lecturers to use with their course.
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on 14 April 2013
I have always wanted to own this book, but its price was over my limit. My only concern is finding the time to really do it justice by reading it and putting it in good use
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on 18 October 2011
Although described as 'concise', this is a substantial and comprehensive piece of work. An essential addition to your kitchen bookshelf.
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on 6 December 2012
Bought this as a present for a relative who is cookery mad- he loved it and regularly refers to it.
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on 1 October 2012
As a counter to all the reviews waxing lyrical about this book,try looking up sous-vide.

The editors appear to have done little more than run a spell check and removed the OMGs and LOLs which the current review staff surely would have inserted.
Definite and indefinite articles are missing from sentences. Opinion creeps in where there should be fact.
Wasabi is not a rhizome but a "rhizome actually."
Dishes are neither hot nor very hot but "really hot."
The sympathetic entry for haggis discusses swede but omits the other 30% of the dish, the tatties.
Perhaps a simple slip while cutting and pasting.
Hang on to your copy of the original version if you have one or get a second hand one.

Update a few years on: Just noticed, never looked at it again until today, unlike previous versions this edition has no images. No pictures or diagrams. If you want to know how the English and French cuts of beef differ you are on your own. New entries such as for "Brix" are infantile and utterly useless. Really awesome not.
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