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Larousse Gastronomique by Prosper Montagné
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Larousse Gastronomique (1938)

by Prosper Montagné

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Slightly clunky translation of a book that's stuffy, old-fashioned, and very very French. Recommended as a fun cultural artefact, or as a reference when deciphering older French recipes. (That's for the 1986 edition, anyway. I hear rumours that later editions grudgingly admit the existence of lesser cuisines practised in countries that have the misfortune not to be France.)
  shevek | Jan 18, 2016 |
world famous cook book very good + dj with tears rarely used
  antiqueart | Dec 12, 2013 |
Contains a General Index of key topics, and a separate Index of Recipes. Weights and measures are given in metric, Imperial, and American standards, with a nice precaution that "it is advisable" not to mix them. Unlike most cookboooks sorted by type of dish or recipe, this encyclopedia presents topics in alphabetical order.

This work is touted to be "the world's most famous culinary reference book" and to provide comprehensive coverage of "every aspect of cookery". This includes history and traditions of foods and eating, biographies of chefs, cooking terms, and culinary techniques. For example, how to filet a fish, or make beurre blanc. How to store and use ingredients. Provides over 3,800 recipes, many of which are classic and non-obvious.

Prosper Montagne published the first edition in Paris in 1938. This revised English edition features 90 new biographies and expands the global scope. There is emphasis on techniques of contemporary cuisine -- alongside simmering, braising, roasting and baking, we now find induction or plancha cooking and the use of liquid nitrogen and creating foams. New ingredients such as cactus, eddo, haloumi, potmarron and tonka beans, along with new recipes such as chocolate avocado souffles. With over 800 illustrations and 400 photographs.

Under "Abattoir" is a small section on "Slaughtering in former times", with a surprising observation that "in the language of Homer, to express the idea of the slaughter of livestock, there are no verbs other than those relating to offering up sacrifices to the gods".

What a wonderful thing to repeat -- to recall the days when our food animals were treated with respect, even "religiously". Today, we eat creatures produced in factories and torture chambers. Chickens who live to scratch the earth, are pinned in cages and never touch the ground. Calves are locked in pens and have never spent their youth gamboling the meadows! We have fished to near extinction species we once ate in abundance. We are doing this WRONG. J'Accuse!

Fortunately, many people "care" about food. My takeaway on the attitude of the many authors of this encyclopedia is that transparency, planning and integrity must attend what we eat. Every professional and every consumer should insist that great "care" be taken of our food. ( )
  keylawk | Apr 28, 2013 |
I had this book on the shelf for years, and supposed it to be snooty and French. It is - and terrific stuff, too.
Handling a roadkill just after Christmas I browsed the book for venison recipes and discovered one (see Roebuck) attributed to Christian Dior, of all people. To my slight surprise it read well - it had, I imagine, a sort of New Look simplicity. And it was a triumph.
Now I browse the great tome occasionally, finding all sorts of treasures, including little biographies of extraordinary people, mostly French cooks and critics. ( )
  jason.goodwin | Mar 22, 2012 |
Highly regarded as a French gourmand's Bible, I keep this book close to the kitchen as a culinary dictionary. Entries are organized alphabetically, and brief recipes are filed where appropriate. For example, if you want to find different ways to cook sole, look up "sole," and the entry will provide an explanation of the subject, tips on how to select and prepare the fish, then different recipes that focus on ingredients rather than step-by-step instructions such as "Turn the oven to 400 degrees...."

My edition is old, from the '60s or '70s, but it is still is useful to have around. Larousse Gastronomique is a companion to the kitchen and certainly not a replacement for a cookbook, as the recipes are there more for inspiration than direct instruction. ( )
2 vote StoutHearted | Apr 23, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0609609718, Hardcover)

Since its first publication in 1938, Larousse Gastronomique has been an unparalleled resource. In one volume, it presents the history of foods, eating, and restaurants; cooking terms; techniques from elementary to advanced; a review of basic ingredients with advice on recognizing, buying, storing, and using them; biographies of important culinary figures; and recommendations for cooking nearly everything.

The new edition, the first since 1988, expands the book’s scope from classic continental cuisine to include the contemporary global table, appealing to a whole new audience of internationally conscious cooks. Larousse Gastronomique is still the last word on béchamel and béarnaise, Brillat-Savarin and Bordeaux, but now it is also the go-to source on biryani and bok choy, bruschetta and Bhutan rice.

Larousse Gastronomique is rich with classic and classic-to-be recipes, new ingredients, new terms and techniques, as well as explanations of current food legislation, labeling, and technology. User-friendly design elements create a whole new Larousse for a new generation of food lovers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:13 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An American edition of the world-famous culinary dictionary and cookbook contains international recipes in addition to information on cooking terms, foods, notable individuals, and the varieties of French wines and cheeses.

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