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Larousse Gastronomique Hardcover – December 12, 1988

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Some books hang around long enough to become part of the language, and then they're considered classics, but the real classic earns its status with overwhelming merit; such is the case with the Larousse Gastronomique. It's been around since 1938, with 8,500 recipes, over a thousand pages of encyclopedic knowledge from A (Abaisse--a pastry making term) to Z (Zwieback--a kind of biscuit), and the final word in matters culinary. Handy for cooking terms, kitchen queries, and "hey, did you know ..." Sunday afternoons, the Gastronomique deserves respect and a big place on your cookbook shelf.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1193 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First American Edition edition (December 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517570327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517570326
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What makes this book an essential tome for any gourmet cook, experienced or beginner, is the simplicity. Everything is easy to find and explained fully. All too many cookbooks assume that the cook already knows the basics by heart and don't bother to mention how to start a white sauce or "sauce béchamel" with a roux, even though this only means using a base of butter and flour! Anything rudimentary that you need to know can be found here, along with hundreds of marvelous recipes that all go back to the basics. As Julia Child once said "sometimes you have chocolate, and sometimes there's fish, but the basics are the same" and indeed this book shows you how, giving several examples of what to do with each major kind of dough, sauce, bread or wine. Included also are many historical perspectives into the history of fine cooking and good eating!
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Format: Hardcover
Don't expect a great recipe book when you buy this. It includes a large number of recipes, but these are there to demonstrate the use of key ingredients rather than as recipes that you are expected to follow.
However, the book is invaluable and, I believe, unique as a reference when you come across a question about food and cuisine that is difficult to answer. I've been handed woodcock and expected to cook them - do you remove the entrails or not? You read in a recipe to use a bain-marie - what is it? What is the difference between Anna potatoes, Boulangere potatoes and Chateau potatoes? ... and so on. I don't know of any other book that can so comprehensively answer EVERY food/cooking question that I've come across.
In addition to being the best available encyclopaedia of food and cooking, the Larousse Gastronomique is FUN. It is one of those books that can sit beside your bed for browsing ... just open the book at a random page and see where you get to ... every page (and there are a lot of them) has several entries that are interesting and illuminating.
In a world that has become dominated by glossily illustrated books by designer chefs, where the typeface and photographs are more important than the contents of the book, this book is a truly refreshing, entertaining and useful volume.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't expect this to be the classic French Larousse, which comes in a condensed one-volume version and a full three-volume set.
The American Larousse is, as many things American tend to be, watered- and dumbed-down for our nation's less-sensitive palates.
Just as with its French cousin, the American Larousse, contains many color plates featuring dishes and ingredients featured in its pages. However, the the American Larousse appears to have approximately one-third of the content of the French version. As a purely illustrative example, the American version's section on sweetbreads is approximately two columns' worth of loosely-packed print, while the French version features six pages of dense text on the subject.
Especially in light of its cost, the American Larousse is a bitter disappointment. The epicure wishing to have ready access to a gastronomic bible would be well-advised to obtain the French version in its place.
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Format: Hardcover
As a professional food writer, restaurant reviewer and editor, I'm regularly referring to this book. It's one of the books I have a hard time putting down. If you like this book, by the way, you'll probably like Cookwise by Shirley Corriher, and might want to consider the Food Lover's Companion, which is more dictionary than Encyclopedia but also very useful.
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Format: Hardcover
If you can only have one cookbook, this should be it.
Amazing. Thrilling. Inspiring. Just take the "American" recipies with a grain of salt. They were collected when pineapple in mashed potatoes was haute cuisine.
If you can cook, you can make everything in the book. If you can't, you will learn.
The best resource ever. You will never hear whines of "<insert any food> again?"
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Format: Hardcover
This book was given to me as a gift from my wife, it is one of my very favorite books. I'm a professional chef with 18 years expirience. I have always had this book close to me as a final authority on 1000's of recipies and terminology. Over the years I've had many apprentice cooks who have gone on to become great chefs in fine kitchens, many times, when asked questions on a huge variety of food related topics and classic dishes I would always say LOOK IT UP IN THE LAROUSE!!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the most coomprehensive and entertainig books about cooking. It is a "study book", but every time you read it you will have to force yourselves to leave it. Professional or Amateur this source of information is absolutelly fantastic.
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Format: Hardcover
I think that prospective purchasers of this book should be aware that a three volume Larousse Gastronomique exists and that it is available at Amazon.fr., and, if they would be interested in that one over this one, perhaps they should look into it before buying this one. That set, however, costs.
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