Bittman & Bittman
February 15, 2009 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Overlap between Mark Bittman's cookbooks?

I have the new version of Bittman's "How to Cook Everything." I recently bought "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" as a supplement, but there seems to be a significant amount of overlap between the two. For example, the section on Vegetables and Fruits appears more or less identical in both books. I'm not a vegetarian, just looking for additional non-meat recipes to mix things up. Should I just return "Vegetarian?"
posted by Bezuhin to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why aren't you expertly positioned to do a side-by-side comparison of the two, identify whether whatever additions that "Vegetarian" has are ones that appeal to you, and then resolve whether the purchase price is worth it?

This is like asking AskMe whether you should Biggie size your order.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2009

I can't speak to the vegetarian book, but I've been working from "How to Cook Everything" for the last six months and have gotten by famously with only veggie recipes.

If I was to spend my money on another cookbook, I'd get something more varied - possibly Bittman's "The Best Recipies in the World" or something else completely different.
posted by asuprenant at 1:35 PM on February 15, 2009

Yes, there's a ton of overlap. I think you could go many years on the veg recipes in the Red book before you got to a point where you needed to go out and buy the Green book. I'd say the strongest point of the Green book is that if you need to cook for someone vegan or lactose intolerant, there's a good bit of space devoted to those recipes and they're called out as such. I know the Red book calls out vegetarian recipes but I can't remember much being devoted to more limited diets.
posted by crinklebat at 2:27 PM on February 15, 2009

Sorry, just realized not all editions of "How to Cook Everything" are red. You can tell how much I love these books...I unthinkingly use my nicknames for them.
posted by crinklebat at 2:31 PM on February 15, 2009

I have and really like the Bittman Vegetarian book, but if you already have the regular Bittman, return the veg version and buy Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Similar size and scope, but different from Bittman and amazingly good.
posted by The Michael The at 4:43 PM on February 15, 2009

Yes, the Deborah Madison book is great. And I hate vegetarian food.
posted by sweetkid at 4:53 PM on February 15, 2009

Seconding The Best Recipes in the World. I got it as a birthday present, and it's the second book I use, after Joy of Cooking. Take one of the books, get another. If the vegan cooking is important to you, keep the vegetarian book.

Next time, do a bit of comparison shopping. It's not uncommon to run across the same recipes in different (usually generic) cookbooks.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:17 PM on February 15, 2009

I got the Green, then the Red, and there's quite a bit of overlap. I would not buy them in the opposite order.
posted by myeviltwin at 7:05 PM on February 15, 2009

I have Yellow (now updated as Red). Yellow and Green don't have as much overlap, so I use them both.

Side note: World's Best Recipes is also Red. I wish the revised Yellow were blue or orange or something. WOE.
posted by catlet at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2009

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