Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Field guides to food

These Field Guides are the best books for the home cooking basics. I could not cook without these books within easy reach in my kitchen. In total, there are four in the series, but I currently only have three of them. These books tell you everthing you need to know about the basics of meats, produce, and herb and spices.

The Field Guide to Meat book is sectioned by animal and there is an overview about each animal and how is graded and other general shopping tips. For each cut of meat, the book supplies a picture, other names of the cut, a general description, what part of the animal the meat comes from, how to choose, how much to buy, how to store the meat, general preparation techniques, and flavor affinities. What more could you need to know?

The Field Guide to Produce book is split into two sections - fruits and vegetables. In this book, the general description is longer and tells of all the different varieties of that fruit or vegetable. It also tells the season of the fruit or vegetable, what to look for when you purchase, how to best store, prepare, and suggests servings. Again, there are pictures of each fruit and vegetable. The book comes in especially handy in Chinatown when I have no idea what the vegetables I am looking at are!

The Field Guide to Herbs and Spices book follows the same pattern. However, this book is particularly helpful in identifying what herbs or spices to use with what type of dish or protein and also supplies a recipe for each herb or spice. There is also a section of the ingredients in spice mixtures from around the world.

I still need to buy the Field Guide to Seafood.

1 comment:

al said...

ask Dreyer about the MEAT one,