- Hardcover: 1216 pages
- Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Revised, Updated ed. edition (October 13, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307464911
- ISBN-13: 978-0307464910
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 2 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 108 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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Larousse Gastronomique is a classic reference source. First published in 1938, it concentrated on traditional French cooking. This completely revised and updated edition recognizes the many changes that have occurred in the culinary world. It has a broader focus, with information about foods, culinary techniques, and chefs from across the globe. The alphabetical entries range in length from a few sentences to several pages. They cover types of food (Apples, Locusts); cooking techniques (Braising, Grilling); famous chefs (Auguste Escoffier, Alice Waters); culinary jobs (Maître d’hôtel, Sommelier); countries (China, Greece); and tools of the trade (Knife, Saucepan). Flashy new culinary techniques such as écume and molecular gastronomy are covered, too. The book contains more than 3,800 recipes attached to related articles—15 apple recipes, 8 ways to prepare eel, and 2 versions of cassoulet, to name a few. Also in this edition are color photographs of ingredients so that users can see varieties of spices, fruits, and vegetables as well as cooking techniques such as opening a scallop or stuffing fish or poultry. Some 400 candid black-and-white photographs of restaurants from all over the world depict the daily work in the kitchens. General and recipe indexes make it easy for users to find what they need. This is an essential resource for most library reference collections as well as a wonderful book to browse. --Barbara Bibel
“Larousse Gastronomique is clearly the best cooking encyclopedia ever, but I also love to open it anywhere and just read. The descriptions are clear and the recipes are easy to follow. Anyone who thinks French cooking is daunting will be forever changed by this book.”
“Larousse has a place of honor on every cookbook shelf in America.”
“It is critical to have a sound understanding of traditional culinary principles before attempting to push boundaries in cuisine. Larousse Gastronomique helps me execute the progressive cooking we do at Alinea.”
“The bible of cooking. The all-time argument ender. Early in my cooking career, I wielded my Larousse like a weapon and it never let me down.”
“Larousse Gastronomique has always been the first and last word on classic European techniques and recipes. I love that it has expanded its reach to cover world cuisines and modern culinary innovations, making it more indispensable than ever.”
“The history of food has never had a better biographer. Required reading for anyone who eats.”
“Young chefs, famous chefs, home cooks, and everyone who loves food and cooking–we all depend on Larousse Gastronomique. It is the only culinary encyclopedia that is always up-to-date.”
“You can’t go into the chef’s office of any serious kitchen and not see a copy of Larousse. A must-have for professional and home cooks alike.”
“The Larousse is the first place I look when I need to clarify a cooking question. The greatest reference book, it is a fascinating read.”
“Larousse is an invaluable tool for any cook. I’ve used this great resource all throughout my cooking career, and of course I look forward to the new edition. New information and knowledge are always welcome.”
“Larousse Gastronomique is a veritable dictionary of cooking terms for the French kitchen. If a chef were allowed only one book, this would have to be it.”
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The content of the is book is absolutely amazing. With everything that is contained within, however, do not expect this to be an inexhaustible source of information. Since it is a French book, there is a definite tilt here, however other cultural culinary points do appear - they just aren't as comprehensive. So what would you find in a book like this? You'll find great color and black and white photos in categories like squash, cheese, citrus fruit, et cetera. You'll find detailed information about different regions of the world as well as entries about notable individuals that had an impact on the development of food preparation, even those that may be from hundreds of years ago. You will also find recipes and charts that provide valuable information about different food.
As a note, while I cannot speak highly enough about this book as a culinary resource, I do have to provide a cautionary note in regards to the recipes. I have been pleasantly exposed to some incredibly beautiful recipes that worked very well (chocolate mousse that rivaled that which I had in Paris, a chicken liver custard that even non-liver people enjoyed, etc.), but I have also encountered recipes that feel into one of two categories: a) they didn't appear to be tested, or b) they had vague descriptions of quantities. Case in point - "add a sufficient amount of water." So, do your own testing and prepare to make some notes in the book if you're going to utilize it as a cookbook. There are a massive amount of recipes contained in this work, but they are generally short or derivative-based (i.e., prepare x as on page y but make these modifications).
If you are the kind of person that jumps onto your phone or tablet the moment you are confronted with something that you want to look up (for instance, a friend asks you what's the difference between a chowder and bisque), then this may not be the book for you - stick with the Internet. But if you are the kind of person that can get happily lost for a brief period of time in a tome that covers the main point of commonality between all people on the face of the Earth in an encyclopedic manner, then strongly consider adding this fantastic resource to your library.
Disclaimer: I am a home cook, not a professional cook. I have an interest in continually learning more about the exciting world that we live in. I cook on most nights and if I don't, people would starve in the house. I don't believe in doing things halfway, so I have pursued bettering my cooking skills and knowledge not to become a food snob, but rather to broaden my knowledge and techniques to create more enjoyable culinary experiences to share with my family and friends. This book, Larousse Gastronomique, helps me to do just that.
The condition in which the book had arrived st my doorstep however, a let down and a stake to the heart. As I opened my precious package, after having waited an extra day on the shipping and already anxious to start reading, I see a mutiliated cover and bent pages. Maybe it might be too much to ask, but IF I ORDER A BRAND NEW BOOK, I EXPECT A BRAND NEW BOOK.
I would love to exchange it for a new one, but as I will be traveling to another country next week, there’s just not enough time.
Amazon: 0 Larousse:1
It's most fun to simply open to a random page and learn something new. Highly recommended to the committed (mostly French) foodie.