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The best English version of Larousse Gastronomique


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Good day eG peoples!

 

I am going to purchase a copy of Larousse Gastronomique (English, because I cannot speak French as well as most French toddlers), and I am wondering which version you think is better and why? Let your opinions fly freely...hold nothing back!

Edited by K8CanCook
edit spelling and add color (log)

Kate "KJ" Phillips

"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride." - Anthony Bourdain

Hard working Apprentice, always ready to cook, taste, eat, or avoid sleeping to have fun with family or friends.

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3 minutes ago, K8CanCook said:

hold nothing back!

 I think it’s terribly dated and there are things I would rather spend my money on. But as always, to each their own.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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16 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I think it’s terribly dated and there are things I would rather spend my money on. But as always, to each their own.

 

Anna N,

 

That is very direct, and I appreciate the honesty. Is there another classic compendium which deserves consideration?

Kate "KJ" Phillips

"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride." - Anthony Bourdain

Hard working Apprentice, always ready to cook, taste, eat, or avoid sleeping to have fun with family or friends.

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10 minutes ago, K8CanCook said:

 

Anna N,

 

That is very direct, and I appreciate the honesty. Is there another classic compendium which deserves consideration?

Yup.  It’s called the Internet. I would spend my money on those compendia that relate to the areas of cooking that interest me.  I am just one opinionated responder to your request.  I am sure you will garner much more interesting responses from others.  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I love my 2001 LaRousse ("Red.").  In fact, it's bedside now.  Inspires me when down, or I need a certain term I've lost, or to just generally learn or refresh on something.  I find it a really valuable book.  I see the current issue, 2009, is coming in at $45, my edition, the 2001 edition, is coming in right around $15 on Amazon. 

 

Just one reason I've found it valuable (like Escoffier, which I'm still trying to work through).  Grant Achatz:

 

“It is critical to have a sound understanding of traditional culinary principles before attempting to push boundaries in cuisine. Larousse Gastronomique helps me execute the progressive cooking we do at Alinea.”
—Grant Achatz

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I have a classic edition dated 1984 that's tattered and the cover and dust jacket are long gone.  But I refer to it often as I love not only the feel of a hard cover book and looking at the photos, but I don't find the same reference in online sources.  For example, a specific classic ingredient or technique.  It was a gift from some folks I worked with many years ago in a business unrelated to food and cooking but they new it was my passion.

9780600602354-us.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

1913502104_LG1stedition.jpg.1b3312f1199f321e07952b8962ae4d0d.jpg

When I transitioned to food publication in the 70's, this was one of several books I purchased to facilitate the new challenge. I had hoped it would be an excellent reference source and it did not disappoint. Forty years later, I am still consulting it. My cooking skills may have improved, but the mind still seeks the discipline of knowledge.

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I have the 1984 edition, purchased in the same year, and have used innumerable times since its purchase. Yes, much of the info is now online, and yes, there are a few items not covered in it (avocados,) it's French-centric, and there's a lot of shorthand in it (in the croissant section, one is instructed to give 'three turns' without explaining what a full turn actually is) meaning one has to already have some training, I still value the book as one of the best. I would rate it in the top ten most useful of my collection.

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We had a discussion about the various Larousse editions... was it almost a decade ago already?... here:

Larousse Gastronomique 1938 (the first edition)

 

As for the original question about the 'best' English edition, as I said back then: "There have been 3 'American' (=English language) editions: 1961, 1988 and 2001 [plus, since that post, a 4th English edition in 2009]. They're quite different; I don't know about 'better'. The book grew from 1000 to 1200 to 1350 pages over the 3 editions and certainly became more up to date. For one thing there's now more than a passing mention of 'foreign' (non-French) foods. But if you use it as a French culinary history reference book - which is what I think it's best at - the 1961 edition is the closest to a translation of the 1938 French original."

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Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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