Cook Book Review: The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary

If you are reading this blog the odds are that you have at least a little food nerd in you.
A food nerd doesn't just like to eat, they like to immerse themselves into the entire culinary culture.
That is why you will like this book.  It contains over 5000 definitions of culinary terms and food.  It also contains many American, British, French, Italian and Spanish cooking terms.



Written by Jacques Rolland, a french born, third-generation member of a hotel and restaurant family, this book calls upon his many experiences of different cultures and knowledge of food.  He is also a certified sommelier, which if you don't know what that is, this book has the answer.

The Cook's Essential Kitchen Dictionary is a great reference to have in your kitchen.
If you need help deciphering a recipe or ever wondered what the heck is xanthan gum.
While browsing through it's pages, I learned that Chilean Sea Bass is not a Bass.  It's real name is Patagorian Tooth fish, but was renamed as part of a successful marketing campaign.  I also learned that a Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.  The book is designed like a traditional dictionary, in that it contains an alphabetical listing of words, with their definitions.  It utilizes cross-referencing and subtopics to make the experience deeper.  Foreign phrases appear in italics and bold type is used to help the reader navigate.

It includes common terms like kidney bean, muffin and rum, but also highly technical words you may not have heard before.  Some examples are boulangerie, pecorino, mizuna, garum and demi-glace.
I found 5 types of garlic, 19 types of flour, 8 varieties of coffee beans and 4 types of chickens.

How you benefit from this book is up to you, whether your looking for an entertaining read or the answer to a specific culinary question.
From abalone to zymurgy, this book will help you deepen your culinary prowess and amaze your friends when they ask "what is quinoa?".  I keep my copy at arm's reach in my kitchen in case I need a quick reference. 

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