culinary review
   
   

Review: The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:35 pm
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There are three basic kinds of cookbooks: the flashy, bright book with large pictures and almost noamericas_test_kitchen text that you look through with pleasure but that almost always end up unused on the shelf; the in-depth subject book with the objective of teaching the reader specific methods regarding a particular area of cooking which isn’t always as light a read, but usually very rewarding once you actually take the time to study it; and then finally you have the fundamental, overall cooking book that covers a range of topics and basic techniques, methods and recipes. The last book is the go-to source that hopefully gets the most use and that comes in handy at the most unexpected moments. That’s the kind of book that any cook needs to have on hand, no matter whether you’re a beginner or fairly advanced in the kitchen.

You need to be able to trust that book, and hopefully get inspired by it as you flip through the pages in search for a particular piece of information. The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is that book. Extensive, fundamental, topical, yet broad. It offers the reader a variety of mouthwatering recipes, interesting tips and advice, specific information, cooking charts and more. And what more, extensive as it is, and with nice, clear pictures and easy, inspiring texts, it borderlines on the two other kinds of categories as well: the flashy, picture-rich book and the in-depth subject book.

However, the most important aspect of this cookbook is the brand that America’s Test Kitchen stands for. Testing, testing, testing – you know that each recipe has been tested numerous times and that various substitutions have been tried as well as methods of cooking. They take pride in butchering their recipes in order to find the perfect method and ingredient list. And this applies to each and every recipe. So in other words, try to find one recipe in this book that won’t come out spectacular. When you know for sure that there isn’t any questionable information in this book, you will get even more excited to use it and try every one of their recipes.

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