Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Food Substitutions Bible - A Handy Reference for Your Kitchen

The Food Substitutions Bible
Second Edition
More than 6,500 Substitutions for 
Ingredients, Equipment & Techniques
David Joachim
Paperback, 695 pages

Have you ever realized, half-way through a recipe, that you were out of one of the ingredients? Or possibly you aren't even sure what that ingredient is. And, if you live in a neighbourhood like mine, the only spices your neighbours seem to carry are table salt.. and garlic salt. (This is what happens when you move to a small town)
Or perhaps you are journeying through an exotic new recipe only to realize that a couple of the ingredients aren't available in your area. Or even the cooking vessel. What is that, anyway?

David Joachim, author, editor and/or collaborator of more than 30 cookbooks, has updated his famous Food Substitutions Bible (winner of the prestigious International Association of Culinary Professionals, IACP, award) with 1,500 new substitutions for ingredients and even equipment, 5 new ingredient guides and measuring tables, expanded existing entries, and added additional information - resulting in a book that is 25% bigger, and, I figure, 25% better.

His philosophy is that using the real thing is best, but that that isn't always an option. And if you are going to improvise, he wants you to improvise with confidence.
The book is arranged alphabetically, is very easy to understand and navigate, and indeed begins with a "How to Use This Book" chapter.
One of my favourite aspects of the book is the section of ingredient guides that lets you compare ingredients within the same family, such as rices, oils, chiles (dried and fresh), teas, flours, and dried beans.
All in all I found the book very well researched and laid-out. It contains a wealth of usable information and is great resource for any kitchen.