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Hardcover Larousse Gastronomique by Montagne, Prosper (1988) Hardcover Book

ISBN: 0600323900

ISBN13: 9780600323907

Larousse Gastronomique by Montagne, Prosper (1988) Hardcover

Revised and updated with many new entries, illustrations and charts, this edition covers almost every ingredient and cooking style in history past and present, from abaisse to zuppa inglese. The... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Acceptable


2 Available

Related Subjects

Holiday Cooking

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I would give it more stars if I could

This book is an absolute "must" for anyone who is interested in culinary arts, food and wine related topics. I love cooking and have an extensive collection of cookery books, but this is a reference book "par excellence" and is fascinating. I read a little at a time and allow time for each subject to sink in and often have to cross reference. I still have many topics to go, it will probably take me all year to complete this book.Often I have used this book as a dictionary to find out about a type of food and it has been the topic of many a conversation with friends.This book is not a recipe book nor for the faint hearted and a sound knowledge of the French language is a definate advantage since so many culinary terms are in French and not translated (and often not even translatable), this book assumes that you already have the basic cullinary language before you start.This is not a book that I would take a chance on buying as a gift for anyone unless they had specified an interest.A wonderful book!

Essential, Exhaustive Reference to French and World Food

This weighty, 1200 page volume is a reliable gold standard among culinary works. It should not surprise that it is originally a work published in French (Larousse is a major French publisher that specializes in encyclopedic volumes on many subjects). The inevitability of the volume is based on the premier place of French cuisine on the world stage and on the very European tradition of publishing great omnibus works on just about every subject imaginable. It was Diderot in 17th century France who invented the encyclopedia and great references in most subjects are available in French or German or even Italian long before they are available in English.The blurb on the front of my edition states that the Larousse Gastronomique is the `World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia'. I cannot judge this statement for volumes available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Hindi, or Arabic. But, in English, this is undoubtedly true. This statement is true not only for the size of the volume, but for the great range of subjects the editors have chosen to include. The entries cover all the obvious things such as vegetables, meats, fish, shellfish, herbs, spices, fruits, and spice mixtures.On these subjects, the writers do not limit themselves to a simple description of appearance, taste, seasonality, geographic distribution, and a statement of culinary uses. It includes representative recipes for almost all basic foodstuffs, the number depending on the relative importance of the food. The entry for aubergines (eggplant) includes a general recipe for the preparation of the vegetable plus eight recipes within the article itself plus references to eight other recipes under other articles. The drawings or photographs accompanying articles on major foodstuffs like aubergines are truly first rate. I am pleased, but not surprised at this, as I have come to expect European editors to do as good or better job of illustrating books than American publishers, especially where these illustrations are an important aspect of the work. Regarding the illustrations in general, the genius of the editors is in the great variety of media used in the pictures. Where technical detail is important, color drawings are used to focus on the important and hide the incidental in pictures of raw ingredients, for example. Where a prepared dish is pictured, photographs are typically used. Where the subject is a geographical or historical subject, the first choice is usually an historical engraving, painting, or cartoon.If the book covered no more than these foods, it would be a valuable work indeed, but it also covers such diverse subjects as geographical regions of culinary interest such as Provence, both common and rare kitchen tools such as the autoclave and the bain marie, culinary songs such as chants used by street vendors in Paris, types of eating establishments such as café, bistro, and restaurant. One of my favorite things is to be looking for a particular entr

Tout le Monde

Certainly the grande dame of cookbooks can't be everything to everyone but what it does do, better than anything else, is teach you the proper way to master the myriad of cooking techniques. If the book is heavy, it's because it's the foundation of every other cookbook you could own. Certianly "Joy of Cooking" is also remarkable in this respect, but if you want to rise about just being good, Larousse will teach you. Yes it is Franco-centric but deservedly, the French have a culinary legacy second to none in the world and the techniques you learn in Larousse will serve you well no matter if cooking Chinese, Italian, or even New American.The four foundations the book synthesizes are: Technique, Tools, Ingredients, and Creativity. Ever wanted to know the essence of celery? Just how an egg does all the things that it does? Larousse will tell you. Similary, with tools, Larousse is an illumination. If Williams Sonoma ever seemed superfluous, Larousse will shock you into realizing there are advantages to owning copper pots, balanced wisks, and a bombe mould or two. Correct tools are essential to exemplary results.Larousse is not a dead book of "ancient regime" heavy sauces (though they are included), but rather a living book, inspirational in its depth. If it can be accused of being stodgy, and it has, it's because it wants to emphasize the basics of cooking and, once that is mastered, leaves you free to go out on your own. Once the four foundations have been mastered it's up to you to excel. That's not to say there aren't complex and difficult recipes, there are; but they tend to be more traditional though make no mistake, the top chefs of France have contributed recipes to Larousse.There are shortfalls. As noted before it does not cover the other grande cuisines of the world (namely Chinese and Italian) with anything remotely resembling a catholic perspective, but then it doesn't purport to be an all-encompassing cookbook. As a book it is dry and its emphasis on exact, rigid technique seems rather imperious. While the haughty tone may seem to be a fault, it's actually worded so as to express the exact requirement of a task in the clearest terms. When you get to the highest levels of cooking techniques there is no room for error. You're dealing with physical and chemical properties that require exact processes to succeed. Pull them off and you'll amaze yourself.If you learn to cook using Larousse Gastronomique and follow it faithfully, there won't be a cuisine in the world you can't tackle or a cooking task you won't perform without confidence. I can't say that about any other cookbook.

Exhaustive and user-friendly

Did you ever sit with a dictionary and just randomly thumb through the entries? That technique is perfect for making your way through Larousse. It's a spectular compendium of European food and gastronomy, from absinthe to zabaglione. The "completely revised and updated" edition also includes an impressive amount of information on African, Asian and New World culinary topics. Ingredients, techniques, specific dishes, biographical sketches and geographical regions are all covered here. There are a few well-placed color photographs and illustrations throughout the book that enhance it beautifully, as well.

A Must Have

Larousse Gastronomique is a must have for any serious cook or for anyone who would just like to know more about the food that they eat. Whether the reader is looking for information about something exotic or commonplace, it's all there. Larousse Gastronomique will provide the reader with a better understanding of the ingredients, techniques, "hows" and "whys" involved in every recipe. I highly recommend reading it from cover to cover. It will serve as an invaluable reference for any cook for many years to come.
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