The recipes in Larousse Gastronomique

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by leswhaley, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. acidlinktest

    acidlinktest

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    I am an Apprentice Chef and have Larousse Gastronomique, Its was like finding a gold mine to me compared to the other books I had come across haha A fantastic resource.
     
  2. michaelga

    michaelga

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    name three things that it taught you that you couldn't get elsewhere?
     
  3. acidlinktest

    acidlinktest

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    You can learn pretty much anything to do with anything elsewhere lol I didn't think that was the point. It is a fantastic resource that has it all (pretty much) in one.
     
  4. chefbruce

    chefbruce

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    My lecturer used it in school and it simply is the definitive guide! What other cookbook has earned the title of "Cookery Bible"? I really dont think its the recipes that matters most - its the inspiration that stires up your imagination! The creativity to experiment and create your own versions comes from you as a chef. Larousse should be the ultimate guidebook for anyone who cares enough for his/her career as a chef.
     
  5. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I recently bought "2000 recettes de la cuisine française", the other French gastronomy and regional food bible. It's in french, printed on 860 pages and categorized by item for a quick search; very efficient! Nothing more than a reference book just like the Larousse. Don't know if there's an English translation.

    I prefer to get my wisdom from cooking magazines. They have the newest takes on classics and they mostly put their focus on seasonal food. And there's the "hors série" editions aiming at a specific theme. In the picture there's "Cuisine et Vins de France" and "Saveurs", both in French. One is very no-nonsense, the other aims a little higher.

    And there's my "Weekend", occasional issued theme magazines assembled from articles printed in their weekly life-style magazine; very high quality cooking! It's in dutch. 

     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  6. woodwaster

    woodwaster

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    I have the English translation dated 1966. I have referred to it on many occasions, although I also find it fascinating just browsing through the text. One interesting recipe/technique that I recall involved placing several whole Starlings on an oven rack with toast set below them, cooking them so that the contents of the bird would drip and collect on the toasts placed below. I haven't tried that one yet.
     
  7. somethinggood

    somethinggood

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    I have used the Larousse recipes for fun, since they are time consuming and sometimes expensive, if one uses the exact ingredients.The recipes do work, although some conversions in measurement may be called for. The Larousse is not just another cookbook.
    What the Larousse can do is give a solid background in technique and process. The color pictures are something to dwell on and use as examples. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a history of food and what people eat (and what they used to eat). A book that I used as a companion book to the Larousse is the Escoffier Cook Book, which is also about process, but is more practical for the kitchen, as it descibes each recipe in exact detail. Either way if you can execute a tenth of what either of these books contains, you are well on you way to becoming a good cook. Pick what you think you can do and work to more difficult tasks, trial and error being the best teacher.
     
  8. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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     Chris is right! 

     I have the 1960 version. It should not be used today as a cookbook so to speak. If you ran a place using the recipes and some of the procedures you would go broke.

       It is however a good  reference  of how things used to be done. Before modern technology and new methods of food handling. Before convection, microwave,  souvide,   and  induction, flash freezing etc.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  9. chefross

    chefross

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    Ed...wouldn't you say that cooking from this book would be a labor of love, not to be taken lightly?

    The idea of spending large amounts of time and energy to re-create a dish is not something many find appealing.

    I believe that the book serves that purpose for those who wish to partake......no?
     
  10. happyhound

    happyhound

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    Mmmmm... Roasted Camel Hump. My father was/is a classically trained French chef. Of the hundreds of cookbooks that lined the walls of our tiny house, the Gastronomique always held the greatest fascination for me as a child. I would spend hours going over, around and through it. Loved the recipes for Camel, beaver tail etc. They sent my imagination soaring. Now, some 45 years later it still does the same. Just my 2 cents. 
     
  11. pacificrimdiner

    pacificrimdiner

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    I primarily purchased the 1990s version for reference.  But one day, I decided to try some of the recipes.  Over time, I've tried nearly a dozen fairly unique ones (of older heritage I would say).  Most were truly delicious.  But - and this is a big consideration - I had to really read through several recipes before finding some that matched my interest and skill level.  The recipes are not necessarily complete and connecting the dots may be required.  For instance, termperature or time might be missing.

    That said, it's fascinating to read.  And it's really a go-to when you really want to go to that French definition of "old school."
     
  12. ilovetheweeds

    ilovetheweeds

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    I have the one that Joel Robuchon completely edited and updated. It's a gem.
     
  13. PAdams2359

    PAdams2359

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    Just purchased Larousse Gastronomique, and so far it is a great read. Less than $30 on Amazon for 2nd hand mint. Have both Mastering the Art of French Cooking, JC. They are great books for my area. Being from a South Louisiana, we use the same spice palette as the French, so they are more of alternate technique books. It is amazing how differently things can taste using the same spices with moderately minor technical changes.

    FYI, it takes 25 lbs of butter to cook through vol. 1.
     
  14. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    If you like Italian, then the go-to book is Anna Del Conte's Gastronomy of Italy. It is written encyclopaedia stye with the classic pulled out into recipes with quantities and timings and all that jazz. Although I do not own it, the definitive Italian cook book is Silver Spoon.