Larousse Gastronomique (2001 revised ed)
by Prosper Montagne (Editor)
The granddaddy of all culinary reference books!
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.
The grand-père of culinary references, this bills itself as "the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia," but the emphasis is still, oh! so French. The stiffness inherent in translation shows; among other things, Larousse uses the wonderfully awkward term "cookery correspondent" to mean a food writer. Try looking up common American edibles--the martini, say, or meatloaf--and you'll get nowhere. French toast is listed as a dessert, not a breakfast.
If you can put up with occasional snootiness, though, you're in for a treat. This is good enough to be read, paged through, nibbled at like a fine cheese, as it's as much a history book as a reference. Absolutely fascinating stuff abounds here, and the photography is splendid.
Reviewer: Catherine S. Vodrey from East Liverpool, Ohio