Okay, so we missed a day. We’ve been doing a lot more writing lately and last night when it came time to write something for the website we were simply tapped out. It was a first and hopefully it will not be a recurring theme. Oddly we can spend all day in the kitchen and still have plenty of things to write about, getting the writing in before midnight is the challenge in that scenario. On the other hand when you spend most of the day writing and researching, sometimes the brain just goes on strike.
Speaking of research, we’ve been getting quite few inquiries on that subject lately. While the internet is a great resource and there are lots of informative websites out there, when push comes to shove, we still reach for our books. The classic and still the best is on On Food And Cooking by Harold McGee. Pair that with The Curious Cook and you will find answers to almost all of your kitchen questions. Learning to be a great cook is all about understanding the process. Harold McGee does an excellent job of explaining food science in clear, easy to understand terms. After all these years there is still no better combination of comprehensive books out there for the layperson. These are two books that every serious cook should own.
For the more technically minded we have recently discovered Food Polysaccharides and Their Applications. It takes all of the information in the Handbook of Hydrocolloids just a little bit further by providing more information and explanations about what's happening with your food. All that and it's a less expensive book, although it's still not what you'd call a cheap read.
We’ve been doing a lot of reading about spices lately and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Ian Hemphill’s Spice Notes and Recipes. This is a wonderful book, packed with information. There are no photographs, instead there is background and recipes for almost any spice that you can imagine. He includes particulars about origin, history, processing, storage, and usage. It’s one of those volumes that you can open to any page and find something interesting to peruse. It’s no wonder since the author and his family own Herbie's Spices, a company based in Sydney with products available internationally. Oddly I can no longer find copies of this book on Amazon or Powells, instead I've come across The Spice and Herb Bible and his latest Sticks, Seeds, Pods & Leaves: A Cook's Guide to Culinary Herbs and Spices (which we just ordered). If they're anything like Spice Notes, I'm sure they're worth the investment.
Last but not least we've been focusing in ice cream and frozen desserts. I'm sure we must have mentioned these books before although they're definitely worth mentioning again. Our go to volumes for icy confections are Frozen Desserts: The definitive guide to making ice creams, ices, sorbets, gelati, and other frozen delights by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir, and Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz, who is probably one of the best sweet cookbook authors and food bloggers out there.
Back to the drawing board or in our case the laptop computers. While we're on the subject, what are your favorite go to food books? We're always looking for new additions to our library.