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What do you want in a cookbook?

Sandra_'s picture

You could probably argue that the world doesn't really need another cookbook. But given that there are going to be more cookbooks, I'm wondering what people who buy them want from them. Hard and fast, never-fail recipes? Ideas and guidelines? Sheer, Martha-like fantasy? Specific subjects like entertaining, or health-related foods? Or plain and simple, anybody-can-do-it? Or something else altogether?
BTW, this is serious market research. Your help is much appreciated.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53687, reply #31 of 35)

I like CD Rom cookbooks because they are searchable. For my birthday, my guy got me the MasterCook Suite. You can list an ingredient and do a search. I do still use my paper cookbooks, I am a creature of habit.

I often do searches on the net for specific recipes, especially if I don't think I have the recipe in one of my cookbooks. I like the fact that I can type in a few characters and have the information pop up in front of me instead of thumbing through a half a dozen cookbooks (in which I may never find the recipe).

They both serve a purpose, CD Roms and Books - if you have favorite recipes in your cookbooks and can readily refer to them, this is the way to go. However, if you just bought a bunch of beautiful artichokes, pop in your William Sonoma CD Rom, do a search on arties and find a great recipe you haven't tried before, that brings its own satisfaction.

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #53687, reply #32 of 35)

I agree with Chiffonade. A CD would make things much easier on many different levels. I would buy it in addition to the book, not instead of the book. By reading the book I get a good feel for it, whereas with a CD, you cannot do that.

By the way, how do you like the Bill Sonoma CD? Does it have all of their cookbooks on it?

Carole's picture

(post #53687, reply #33 of 35)

My favorite cookbooks are very old ones I get at library book sales and house sales. I look for classic recipes and then adapt them for us. Carole

ENRICOLOV's picture

(post #53687, reply #34 of 35)


Kena's picture

(post #53687, reply #35 of 35)

My favorite cookbook always presents the basic recipe, and then lists possible variations. Alternate sauces, changes in ingredients, etc. It provides tips for improvisation.

Also, as others said previously, I love it when a recipe explains why things must be done that or that way. Lots of pictures obviously, but mostly of in-between steps. That way we know exactly what the author meant by "creamy" or "browned"...