Tired of trying to Google culinary terms when you're right in the middle of an episode of Top Chef or, I don't know, reading your favorite food blog? Well the editors of American Heritage Dictionaries have come out with a book for you: think CliffsNotes for food people. Six bucks too, which is nice if don't feel like shelling out the cash for a Larousse Gastronomique.
100 Words For Foodies, published two months ago from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, lists the definitions for an even hundred food terms, starting with aïoli and ending with zabaglione. Some entries are short and to the point (how much do you really need to say about polenta?) while others include a few grafs of word history (shawarma is from the Arabic, which is from the Turkish, etc.). Perhaps best of all, the thin paperback tome--larger than those archaic TV Guides, smaller than a Zagat--includes recipes. Such that after watching Rick Bayless on Top Chef Masters, you can look up mole and then actually go make it. Okay, so good luck with that one. Maybe better to wait until Bayless opens his highly-anticipated restaurant in Los Angeles, or wander over to Moles La Tía if you need a fix now. But hey, it's nice to know that you can.