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Your favorite cookbooks

(article, Culinate staff)

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article on cookbook collections has gotten cookbook lovers chatting. The author, Amanda Gold, decided that her stash of nearly 200 cookbooks needed to be culled, partly to prevent her crawling toddler from being buried under a pile of books and partly because, well, she just didn't use them much:

bq. "Like many cooks of my generation, I often turn to the Internet first, and the books wear a nice jacket of dust."

So she came up with a sorting system: Keep only those books that are classics, have sentimental value, exemplify their genre (a baking book with awesome cake recipes, for example), or have great ideas you might not think of on your own. Books that made the cut include Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (classic), Alice Medrich's Bittersweet (genre exemplar), and Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (unusual ideas as well as genre exemplar).

Now other folks are making and posting their own top-10 lists. Bill Daley, at the Chicago Tribune, picked a list that includes Monica Bhide's Modern Spice, Grace Young's Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, and Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. And the blog Serious Eats asked readers to share their own favorites, plus photos of dishes made from those books.