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The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques Paperback – Sep 2 2010

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The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques + The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs + Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Rose; Second Edition edition (Sept. 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778802450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778802457
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 18 x 3.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tami Brady HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 8 2007
Format: Paperback
The Food Substitutions Bible is a must have resource for every kitchen. This huge book has more than 5000 entries which not only includes ingredients from abalone to zwieback but also cooking equipment and techniques.

Each entry gives a little explanation of what the ingredient is or the equipment does, including alternate names. This aspect is quite useful for some of the less commonly known ingredients that the reader has probably never even heard of.

As the title of the book suggests, each entry also includes a listing of substitutions. Though many of the listings are straight across substitutions "if you don't have A use B", this section often includes ideas if you want to vary the flavour, to save time, and to make a recipe healthier.

I started thumbing through this book and eventually read it cover to cover adding post it notes on the entries that sparked a myriad of interesting varieties as well as those ingredients I always seem to run out of when I get the urge to bake.
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Format: Paperback
I had the first edition and loved it. I use it at least weekly. I bought this edition for me and another one for my mother. It has saved so so many recipes for me. But most of all it's saved me a ridiculous amount of time!! I can now use what I have in the house and it saves me a trip to the store, AGAIN!! Such a blessing when I'm have a time crunch, people are on their way over, and I "thought" I had all the ingredients!! Would recommend!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 73 reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
About as good as you can expect from a 'Bible'. Buy It! Jan. 4 2006
By B. Marold - Published on
Format: Paperback
`The Food Substitutions Bible' by David Joachim runs a big risk in assuming such a pretentious title, as it simply invites a search for things which are missing in order to take it down a peg or two. I have to say, however, that compared to several other `bible' titles published by this `Robert Rose, Inc.' company, this book more than lives up to its promise. On the way, it happens to fill a great need in one's culinary library.

Most good cooking manuals have substitutions and `how to make' for several of the more common pantry items such as buttermilk, lemon juice, crème fraiche, and preserved lemons. It it's an especially good book, it may have as many as 100 such substitutions. This book advertises `more than 5000 substitutions'. The book doesn't just stop at one substitution or recipe for each item. Many options have three or four or five. It also does not stop with formulas or recipes. It does an excellent job, for example, of giving substitutions for common cooking tools such as a zester or a potato ricer.

Of course, I could not resist trying to find things the book missed. I am happy to say I did find a few, but I am also happy to say that with one exception, they were all very obscure. I found no entries for the ancient Roman fermented fish sauce, `garum' or the traditional French sour grape condiment, `verjus' or the middle eastern spice, `Aleppo pepper' or the North African pantry item, salt preserved lemon. I think all these are fair, in that I have seen recipes for all these in at least one cookbook and I have seen all of them used in at least two modern cookbooks.

I also felt some of the substitutions were just a bit less than useful, as the item being substituted may have been just as hard or harder to come by than the missing ingredient. For example, if I don't have venison, it is highly unlikely I will have antelope meat or gazelle meat or buffalo meat. Fortunately, this observation is generally a quibble, as we are also given `beef' as a substitute for venison.

My last quibble with these entries is that several substitutions are a bit questionable for all but the most casual situations. For example, suggested substitutions for mozzarella are Gouda, provolone, Muenster, and Fontina. I think all of these are much too strongly flavored to act as a good substitute for classic mozzarella uses. I suppose that if all you want is `some soft cheese', these would work, but I would question all of these in a baked dish or in classic raw dishes such as the Caprese salad.

The other side of the coin is brilliantly represented by the ingredient guides in the back of the book including apples, rice, clams, pears, dried beans, lentils, olives, mushrooms, potatoes, chiles (fresh and dried), flour (wheat and alternatives), Asian noodles, roe, crabs, oils, vinegars, and salts. These pages alone are worth the price of the book. I am forever trying to remember which apples are best for baking and which clams are best for chowder. I will have to puzzle no longer.

Oddly, this book will probably be more of a service to experienced cooks than to rank amateurs, as it is at its best with unusual ingredients. The experienced cook will also be much better at identifying the good from the bad substitutions.

Very highly recommended for all cooks!
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing Kitchen Resource Nov. 1 2010
By Dee Long - Published on
Format: Paperback
We believe in a Kitchen Murphy's Law that says sooner or later you're in the middle of a recipe and find out you are missing a key ingredient. Thank goodness for David Joachim's researching skills because the second edition of "The Food Substitutions Bible" is an amazing compilation of just what will work in place of the original thing.
We love the A to Z organization of this book so it's easy to quickly find the perfect subtitute for anything from coconut cream and parchment paper to bleu cheese and guar gum. This bible is sure to save the day because you will never have to ruin a recipe again thanks to the wrong or missing ingredient!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Great Resource for Amateur or Experienced Cooks May 27 2006
By Sunny Skies - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, even though like others stated, some of the items were so obscure I had never heard of them! LOL. Saying that, I would still recommend it highly for anyone who cooks. I mean who hasn't started cooking and realized they did not have an essential ingredient. I looked up several of my favorites items to see if any of the substitutions were feasible, most were. Each of the ingredients in their reference book includes a description of the item, i.e. Durum Flour: finely ground durum (high-gluten) wheat.

One of the features I liked about the book is that some of the listed ingredients, i.e. butter and all-purpose flour, include substitutions "To Vary the Flavor" or "For Better Health". Many of the substitutions also include info on how it might affect your recipe. For example, if you look up Butter, the "For Better Health" substitution states: 1/2 butter and 1/2 vegetable oil, best "for baking, especially quick breads and some cookie doughs: reduce baking time slightly; baked goods will be slightly more chewy; use pastry or cake flour for lighter texture..." This kind of info is just the thing to help make me a better cook.

The final sections include ingredient tables for common foods and include direction of what they are best suited (cooking, baking, eating). Other tables include ingredients with characteristics of each variety and what can be substituted within the categories (potatoes, beans, pears, apples, olives, legumes, lentils, mushrooms and more).

I definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves cook.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Belongs in every kitchen June 5 2006
By C. Ebeling - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deserves 5 stars on several accounts: 1) Sheer number of and variety of ingredients included;I thought I was fairly well read on food but I am learning all matter of new things--jaggery, anybody? Caerphilly? 2) Cookware is listed, too. 3)Lay-out: items are listed alphabetically, each with a straightforward description and specific quantities of the recommended subsitutions. 4)Obviously, a lot of very careful research went into this reference. 5)I've had it several months now and it continues to prove its usefulness time and time again.

The guiding scenario for the book is the cook who is trying to follow a recipe faithfully but lacks a required ingredient or implement. This is not for the person who has food allergies and sensitivities--most substitutions are from the same family of foods. Likewise, the cook who wants to make the stew calling for a cup of mushrooms but has a mushroom phobe in the family and is looking for something else to take their place is not going to find that kind of information.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
great help Sept. 15 2011
By L. Hunt - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Almost any substitution you need! And more than one substitution is usually offered. They even tell you how many mini-marshmallows make up a large marshmallows; that's helpful. No one wants to buy marshmallow creme for one recipe calling for 1/2 cup...and then wonder what to do with the rest. Instead, make your own creme with marshmallows of any size and some corn syrup...Voila! I also like the boxes beside some ingredients, showing ounces, grams, cups, tablespoons. THAT is most helpful.

After having this book for two years, I still find it a great help, referring to it several times a month.

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