Customer Reviews


117 Reviews
5 star:
 (99)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Food and Cooking Reference Book
Larousse Gastronomique is a fantastic book beautifully written and beautifully produced. It has all the information that you would ever need to know about food and cooking. Come across a vegetable you have never heard of, then it is in there. Do you want to know where a spice comes from and what to do with it, its there. If you ever need ideas on what to cook with that...
Published on 13 Jan. 2010 by Mr. M. Hodgson

versus
160 of 192 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better exterior, worse contents
Better exterior, worse contents

I have upgraded from The Concise Larousse Gastronomique (2003) to find out that this beautifully designed book has actually worse contents than its little cousin!
What's better?
1) The book is so beautifully designed that it's a great pleasure to look at it and to have it on the bookshelf.
2) A general index and a...
Published on 30 Oct. 2009 by reader from Encyclopedialand


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Food and Cooking Reference Book, 13 Jan. 2010
By 
Mr. M. Hodgson (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
Larousse Gastronomique is a fantastic book beautifully written and beautifully produced. It has all the information that you would ever need to know about food and cooking. Come across a vegetable you have never heard of, then it is in there. Do you want to know where a spice comes from and what to do with it, its there. If you ever need ideas on what to cook with that fish, then Larousse Gastrononmique will tell you. It has pictures and descriptions of how to prepare and how to cook, with variations, everything you can cook from the mundane to the bizarre. It has recipes in it but it is not a recipe book. It is an incredible information source, a reference book. It is arranged simply alphabetically which makes it very easy to find the information you want. The pictures are of exceptional quality. The paper is of a very high quality and feels good to the touch. Lovers of quality book production will know what I mean. The whole book exudes brilliance and everlasting quality. A book to keep.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a resource...even if you never cook anything!, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
I'd always wanted this encyclopaedia. I'm not a chef but love cooking and I am always fascinated by techniques that I know nothing about. This tome is huge and is fantastic for just leaving around so you can just pick it up and read random facts about anything of culinary significance - whether its some miniscule fact about what the Romans called cheese or butchery facts about cuts of meat you've never heard of! This book perfectly complements the aspirational dreamworld that wannabe chefs and kitchen geeks inhabit and, interspersed with episodes of "pan-porn" as my family have christened my drooling over casserole dishes and gleaming Maslin pans in shop windows, this book is a fabulous addition to anyone's kitchen bookshelf. If nothing else it is heavy enough and deep enough to provide you with a small step up to reach obscure ingredients that you rarely use from the topshelf of your cupboard! More importantly, this is a treasure of knowledge and inspiration that could turn a dilettante cook like me into something much more substantial and competent in the kitchen! The only misleading thing about the book was it's endorsement by Gordon Ramsay who said it was "The first recipe book I took seriously...a great resource throughout my career"...I didn't find a single swear word so that was a relief. A beautiful book and now one of my treasured possessions!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dictionary of food, 23 Nov. 2009
By 
kb (yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
At first glance when I opened the "very large" book I was slightly disappointed that it was written in dictionary format - but after 2 mins I couldn't put the book down!
It has almost every recipe and basic methodologies for all those recipes and techniques that you hear about but don't quite understand. It has a wealth of info and you just need the time to sit down and pour through it.
The paper sheets are a bit on the thin side - so once you find the recipe that you are looking for it does mean that you have to write it up - as the book also is not something that you can easily prop up on your worktops whilst you work!
Overall a brilliant reference book for those that are really hooked into trying to cook like the experts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my book for a desert island, 14 Feb. 2014
By 
Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
I've hankered after this book for years and was fortunate to receive a copy as a surprise present. Well, I've barely moved since I opened it! It's one of those books that at first glance seems like an encyclopaedia. Which it is, but I'm going to need another lifetime to read it. It's absolutely packed and one of those volumes which captures your interest and imagination regardless of where you open it.

This revised edition is an absolute joy. Anyone remotely interested in food, eating or cooking will discover something within the 1200+ packed pages. It covers the history of food, famous chefs, cooking terms and techniques and there are over 3800 recipes. More than 800 illustrations and 400 plus photos, many in colour, make a good balance with the text.

In addition to all the classics, the new edition covers recently popular techniques like use of liquid nitrogen and making foams. I'm thrilled to own this book and it's going to be a favourite for years to come. It's a book I've not wanted to put down since I opened it and each time I pass I'm tempted to just have another quick delve. It's fabulous.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a bedtime read for the food-obsessed, 28 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
Epicures, it is time to reinforce the bookshelves. The new edition of the Larousse Gastronomique will shortly arrive - with a thump. At 1,206 pages and nearly 8lb of pulped forest, the culinary reference bible of French cooking is bigger than ever. But what's this? The LG, always the embodiment of the French-food vernacular, now comes with a smattering of parvenus, a scattering of avant-garde techniques and a new wave of international chefs who have broken free of traditional French cuisine.

The avant garde is represented by the so-called molecular chefs whose creations often involve the transfiguration of common textures to the uncommon. Enter Monsieur Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck, he of bacon-and-egg-ice-cream fame, followed swiftly by M. Ferran Adria, doyen of bizarre, high-tech Catalan cooking at El Bulli in Spain. After that we have M. Thomas Keller of California, another chef using alternative, not-so-Gallic concepts in the kitchen. Then, look under "N", and you will find the entry, "nitrogen, liquid", because that is the ingredient these upstarts use to chill their sorbet. In the hands of these men, olive oil can become a powder, a root vegetable, a biscuit. No need to eat a tomato, these chaps will simply ionise it, then spray it up your nose.

It will be interesting to see if this conceptual cuisine, admittedly popular and the recipient of numerous awards, will bear the test of time, as have conventional entries on crêpes suzettes, soufflés, mousselines, daubes and bavarois. The LG becomes larger with every edition, but if ultimately judged to be a flash in the pan, the new wave may be quietly weeded out.

Imagine the reaction of Auguste Escoffier, the acknowledged father of French cheffery, who helped to compile the first LG, published in 1938. The impact of Escoffier's strict observation of seasonality and the reduction of the number of ingredients in a single dish has been felt for more than a century and still influences cooking today. What would he make of some of the more extreme activities in the kitchens of Adria and Blumenthal, where artificial food processing aids, not natural ingredients, are routinely used to bring off culinary feats?

As with every new edition, updated every five years, the latest ingredients to become popular in French cuisine are included. This time we have tonka beans, the black, oblong variety from South America with a "powerful aroma of sweet almonds and freshly cut hay", which are used to perfume cream dishes. Cactus - or prickly pears - also make their debut, along with potimarron, a winter squash with the flavour of sweet chestnut, and eddo, a hairy taro root used primarily for its starch element and not its flavour, described as "insipid."

But the greater part of the book is concerned, as ever, with the typical, and extensive, range of ingredients, techniques and recipes that make up French cuisine. Four pages of dense text describe every classic soufflé, from the simple cheese version to hot and cold dessert types. Another four are devoted to foie gras, with recipes for the fattened duck or goose liver au vin jaune, en brioche, with grapes and truffles, in a purée, potted or poached. The rules for making an authentic cassoulet run to over 1,000 words and specify strictly the use of 30 per cent pork (including Toulouse sausage,) 70 per cent haricot beans, as well as the essential confit goose, duck or mutton.

In spite of the move by many French Michelin-starred chefs away from the old bourgeois cooking towards today's scientific molecular cooking trend, the new LG reflects a renewed interest in the revival of traditional, provincial food.This is the language of cordon bleu, the perceived right way to do it. It is this that also makes the LG the essential reference point for chefs. The new edition comes decorated with plaudits from Jamie Oliver, Sir Terence Conran, Michel Roux and Gordon Ramsay.

But, as with any standard work, should you argue with the content? The LG takes its first name from the famous French lexicographer, encyclopaedist and publisher, Pierre Athanase Larousse, a man who "wanted to teach everyone about everything". He died in 1875, and the publishing house appointed Prosper Montagne as editor; Escoffier wrote the preface, though he died before the first edition was published.

Today French chef Joel Roblochon heads a "gastronomic committee" which oversees the content. The LG does not always marry up with other reference books. Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion To Food, for example, will often provide more detail on a single ingredient or dish, or a contradictory fact, and he backs up most of his claims with citations from academic works.

This niggle is not the point, says Christopher Hirst, food writer and a regular reviewer of cookery books. "Of course I have my doubts about some of the content," he says. "I am more amused by it than anything else - you can almost hear the accordion music as you open it." Does he cook from it? "Not exactly. It has remarkably little use for its bulk. But it is very entertaining nonetheless." I would urge, however, that you turn to "crêpes" and make Crêpes Normandes. These thin pancakes studded with calvados-soaked apple slices, served with crème fraiche are utter heaven.

The LG holds the clue to the French Paradox, the fact that the French have always suffered lower rates of cardio-vascular diseases in spite of a diet heavy in butter, eggs and cream. I recall a study carried out by the University of Michigan. Seeking an answer to the paradox, a team of dieticians was sent to Dijon in Burgundy and asked to record the diets of several hundred families. The study concluded that the reason for the good nutritional health of the French lay in the diversity of their diet. Not only did the French eat a huge range of foods, they ate seasonally, chopping and changing their diet through the year. Added to this was the application of a multifarious cuisine. Where another country might eat eggs only three different ways, the French have 50.

The giant Larousse Gastronomique is not just a curiosity, or simply a good bedtime read for the food-obsessed. When it describes itself as the bible of French gastronomy, it is exactly that: an almost holy spirit that has always been worshipped by millions. Bringing in the new wave of chefs and their strange ways might even win back some Gallic deserters as they head for McDonald's.

France may be changing, but the LG still represents the health of the nation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars every kitchen should have one, every cook should have one, 26 Dec. 2009
By 
P. F. White "Paul" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
Overall a fantastic reference book. Full of useful information as well as information that whilst less useful is incredibly interesting to read. Contains a wealth of classic recipes. Gives lots of techniques and reference information about all kinds of food. The colour photos of ingredients is valid but i wonder what the point of the black and white shots of chefs at work is, other than for nostalgia. I cant deny that when I try to look something up I am inevitably distracted into reading a few other entries before remembering why I originally opened the book in the first place. Overall, a joy to have and essential reading for the rare breed of people who still actually like to cook, as opposed to taking some supermarket thing out of the freezer and sticking it in the oven for half an hour.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 13 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
I bought this as a gift for my best friend,who's been cooking for 35 years.....he's blown away with the detailed desciption of each dish. I was a wee bit concerned re the lack of illustration as he generally prefers to see the finished dish - but the content far outweighs this small matter....he was delighted!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5stars, 30 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
Best present that I got for my best friend. I would highly recommend the book to anyone. This is a the bible if cooking
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larousse Gastronomique, 22 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
This is the very best book for information you could possible read, anything you could every wish to know is in there as well as receipts and how to prepare
produce. Because of the excellent quality of the information I have recommended this book to several trainee chefs. Well worth the money
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impresssive, 25 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique (Hardcover)
Well, it looks the part, the reviews seem to be on the front of box cover and the title on the back not sure why this is. lovely casing, beautiful writing. If you know what you buying then you won't be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Larousse Gastronomique
Larousse Gastronomique by Hamlyn (Hardcover - 5 Oct. 2009)
£39.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews