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Vash01
09-28-2011, 05:30 PM
I am considering writing a cookbook and would like to do some market survey. This may be a good place to start. Later I can post possible titles I have in mind.

The first question is- do you buy cook books?

PDilemma
09-28-2011, 05:33 PM
Nope.

People buy them for me. I use them rarely. And I cook all the time. From scratch.

RockTheTassel
09-28-2011, 05:36 PM
I don't because I know a lot of people who love cooking and recommend recipes to me. Buying a cookbook just isn't worth it when I'll only use a couple of the recipes, likely ones I can get from someone I know or online.

pilgrimsoul
09-28-2011, 05:44 PM
My husband is a compulsive cookbook collector, so we have enough for our own private library. They literally number in the hundreds. The sad thing is, we're both so busy, we only really use about 20 of them regularly. The others just sit on the shelf and look pretty.

I'm with RockTheTassel - with the exception of a select few cookbooks I can't do without, I'd much rather get my recipes online.

Aceon6
09-28-2011, 06:01 PM
I buy them once in a while. Just bought an "Indian Food for Idiots" type book so I'd become more familiar with the spices and techniques. For my go to book, I prefer my iPhone app - How to Cook Everything - as it has integrated shopping lists and is always with me.

Rob
09-28-2011, 06:46 PM
My husband is chef so he buys a number of them just to read them for ideas, then he makes up his own recipes. Out of the gazillion he has, he likes Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook and the CIA Professional Chef for basics. For me, I might buy one every 2-3 years.

overedge
09-28-2011, 06:55 PM
I've bought all of Mark Bittman's cookbooks, which are huge and comprehensive, and which have recipes that are understandable, easy to make, and fairly adaptable (e.g. in terms of substituting ingredients, changing the amount you want to make). And the results are very tasty. But those are probably the only cookbooks I've bought in the past 10 years.

CynicElle
09-28-2011, 06:58 PM
Yes, I do buy cookbooks. I really don't know why, as I have limited shelf space and can dig up loads of perfectly good recipes on the internet, but sometimes the author's personality or overall approach to a cuisine draws me in anyhow.

kwanfan1818
09-28-2011, 07:10 PM
Yes, many. Before there was Food TV, cookbooks were my gastroporn.

ETA: Ella Fitzgerald had a huge collection, which she read for the porn value.

Jenny
09-28-2011, 07:18 PM
*runs into thread that is calling her name*

I chose the most frequent option - one or more in a year - but the more accurate count for me would be "one or more in a week."

I love cookbooks, and my overflowing library is well into the hundreds. Many new, many older, many vintage that I buy in used bookstores (when we travel, a used bookstore is always an important stop). I also have a small box of recipes I've clipped out of magazines, copied from a friend or printed off online.

I find them inspiring when I'm looking for new ideas or planning a party, and that's why I prefer books to the internet. I like the pictures, but more so the discussion by the authors/editors/chefs on where the dish comes from, tips on technique, variations and suggested servings.

I almost never buy a book for the pictures only, and if the recipes are just stand alone, I don't bother because I can do better elsewhere.

Cookbooks also offer insights into other cultures, even other regions of the US in particular, because they speak to how people live, how they take care of their families and how they entertain. Vintage cookbooks also give us history and context for how things used to be done, and how that has affected who we are today. One of my most prized and beloved books is the new New York Times cookbook in which the excellent editor/writer Amanda Hesser surveyed the magazine since the 1800s and chose the best and most iconic recipes, complete with her commentary on why there were important, how they can be made today, etc - she tested every one of them.

We have most of the classics (Julia Child, Claudia Roden), many favourite authors (Jamie Oliver, Martha Hall Foose), restaurants we've been too (just got Bobby Flay's Bar Americain this week!) and some that no longer exist (took me years to hunt down a cookbook from the Brown Derby).


My husband is a compulsive cookbook collector, so we have enough for our own private library.

Wheee sounds like a great guy :)


My husband is chef so he buys a number of them just to read them for ideas, then he makes up his own recipes.

Yes, we do that too. We'll consult several versions of a recipe, then do it our own way.

Jenny
09-28-2011, 07:18 PM
ETA: Ella Fitzgerald had a huge collection, which she read for the porn value.

I didn't know that! :cool:

jl
09-28-2011, 07:24 PM
I buy some for myself to get some ideas. I am a fan of the Vancouver Cooks series, because most are accessible. I have the West cookbook but those recipes are kind of... involved.

Cultural exchange in the cookbooks is so awesome though. Reading particularly about Italian and Southeast Asian culture through cuisine is something that I love to do (though the fact that I :swoon: over the food from those regions may have something to do with it ;) ).

In particular, I like Khmer Cookbook - From Spiders to Water Lillies, and Hot Sour Salty Sweet as great books with some awesome recipes and vivid descriptions of the culinary culture of some of SE Asia. Oh geesh, the thought of stirfried squid with green peppercorns and oop (Cambodian pork and eggplant stew, with chilis) is just making me salivate now...

nubka
09-28-2011, 07:36 PM
I voted for almost never. I used to buy a lot of them, but now I get recipes off the internet.

soxxy
09-28-2011, 07:44 PM
I voted for almost never. I used to buy a lot of them, but now I get recipes off the internet.

So do I, plus there's a million videos that show technique.

Matryeshka
09-28-2011, 07:51 PM
I am considering writing a cookbook and would like to do some market survey. This may be a good place to start. Later I can post possible titles I have in mind.

The first question is- do you buy cook books?

Cookbooks are an interesting market. I don't really cook much, but I lurrrrve cookbooks. My mom buys me one every year. I find some of the most beautiful, well-written, descriptive, and evocative of a particular place/time to be cookbooks. Want to know all the important stuff about south Louisiana--skip the Frommer's and the Frodor's and go directly to John Besh's My New Orleans. If you want to know about Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian traditions, food and otherwise, check out Please to the Table. by Anya von Bremzen. I'd recommend that over any travel guide.

If you can tie a picture/story/tradition to your recipes, I think your cookbook could sell well. And splurge for color--I never buy a cookbook that doesn't have color pictures of most of the food.