Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The New Food Lover's Companion

As you may be able to tell from reading along, I love doing research. Just the other day I was asked to name a fruit or vegetable that started with an "H". Don't ask me why, I'm sworn to secrecy. But I knew just where to look to find out.

The New Food Lover's Companion is a definitive guide to all things culinary. It includes nearly 6,000 definitions of food, drink and culinary terms. Needless to say, it lives on my desk. Even when I think I know what something is, it can be helpful to look it up and see for sure. And if I need even more information, the appendix includes a list of food information sources that ranges from alligators to yeast. I can also view a directory of additives to find out what polysorbates are doing in my food. And I can check out the pan substitution list to see if the 9" x 9" x 1 1/2" square pan is equivalent in volume to the 8" x 8" x 2" square pan (it is exactly the same).

You can look up most of the definitions from the book on Epicurious but if that's not good enough for you, I highly recommend buying this book. It is unbelievably comprehensive and will answer questions and settle disputes. Best of all you can figure out what varaq is and impress your foodie friends.

By the way, there are only two fruits listed that begin with the letter "H". Can you name them?