I’ve owned and used The Food Substitutions Bible for many years. I found the first edition well organized and comprehensive. When the second edition was announced, my first thought was, How can this book be made better?
Well, the second edition is definitely better. Author David Joachim has added 1,500 new food and equipment substitutions, bringing the total to 6,500, and five new tables in the appendix. All substitution entries are listed A (A1) through Z (Zwieback), giving a description of the food or piece of equipment in the left column with options for substitutions in the right column. The layout is set up for quick reference and easy reading.
Joachim has addressed the mushrooming interest in foods and cooking that has happened since the book was first published in 2005. He’s added entries such as agave nectar and XO sauce (a rich, spicy Chinese seafood sauce created in Hong Kong). Among the new appendices added Picking Coffee (which has become more complex than choosing wine) and Alcohol Retention in Cooking (even after 2.5 hours some alcohol still remains) are particularly relevant.
All cooks have found themselves in the middle of a meal or making a special dish after the stores have closed only to discover they are missing an ingredient or don’t own a special pan — the answer, The Food Substitutions Bible (Robert Rose, Inc., 2010, $24.95, ISBN:978-0-7788-0119-1). This book is a staple to own.