For reference collections, Tom Stobart's The Cook's Encyclopedia ( LJ 12/1/81) is more useful and appropriate than Claiborne's book, much of which is anecdotal and idiosyncratically personal in its choice of topics and coverage. Claiborne is, however, both fun to read and authoritative. Among amusing items is the one which suggests that the left leg of a pig makes a tenderer ham since the right leg is the one the animal scratches with. Parts of this book seem to be drawn from Claiborne's other writings, and other parts appear to be new material; thus, there is no uniformity among the entries. Claiborne tells a story well, and quotes some very interesting letters from correspondents, but this is basically an enjoyable browsing book rather than a serious reference. Johanna Ezell, Pennsylvania State Univ., Mont Alto Campus Lib.