This encyclopedia of food has sucked more of my minutes than any other book on food that I have owned. The impressive heft of the tome opens a world of food so enrapturing that time will cease to exist as the gravitational pull of the Larousse Gastronomique''s entries work...
This encyclopedia of food has sucked more of my minutes than any other book on food that I have owned. The impressive heft of the tome opens a world of food so enrapturing that time will cease to exist as the gravitational pull of the Larousse Gastronomique''s entries work their magic. More times than I can remember, I have been looking for one particular entry only to be distracted by the other entries my eyes scan as I''m flipping through pages to find my target. Fifteen minutes later, I cannot remember what I was originally looking for, but I''ve learned many amazing things.
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.