Complicated procedures can be explained by an embedded video. When something needs to be timed, there’s a digital timer built right into the recipe. You can e-mail yourself the ingredients list to take to the grocery store. The app does what cookbooks cannot, providing a better version of everything that came before it.
Yet cookbook sales rose 10% in the US and Europe last year, and 20% in Asia and Latin America, according to Fast Company,. Moreover, the best-selling non-fiction title of 2010 was a cookbook — Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals!
I must admit that I’ve been on a bit of a cookbook-buying streak of late, though maybe when The Professor’s iPad2 arrives I’ll make the digital leap. In the meantime, here are a few of the titles I’ve bought to help me meet The Professor’s cooking challenge:
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison. Madison is, of course, the founding chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco. She’s also the author of some nine cookbooks, including this bestselling classic.
Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients. I’m not sure I’ll ever convince The Professor to like quinoa, but it’s worth a shot.
On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee. This tome about cooking contains no recipes, but is filled with little-known facts about the science of cooking, the history of eating, and the etymologies of common food names. It might not make me a better cook, but it will enable me to distract you, dear readers, with the history of ketchup and an explanation for why almonds don’t taste like almond flavoring.