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Simply, ' the world's most famous culinary reference book....,
This review is from: Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Cookery Encyclopedia (Hardcover)
.....and this new edition reflects the culinary revolution of the closing decades of the 20th Century.'
Well, the question is how do you review a tome of no less than 1350 pages?
The cover quotes, from Jamie Oliver:
'An all-time classic cookbook....a real must for any serious chef.'
and Gary Rhodes:
'This new edition has taken the book even further.'
help to ease the conscience for the really serious cooks among us......and help justify the investment, too!
'This edition bears witness to the revolution in the availability of food and the art and science of cooking that has taken place over the last 30 years.
Not only does this book acknowledge our debt to the past, but it recognises the modern approach and welcomes changes that are on the horizon.
It eschews the outdated and rigid notions that inhibit creativity, while accepting that authenticity and an uncompromising approach to quality are the foundations of a reference work.
At the same time, it illustrates that gastronomy is a multilayered subject and one that repays closer study with new sources of inspiration and pleasure.'
In alphabetical order, this dictionary format book starts with 'abaisse', 'abalone' , 'abattoir'........and ends with.....,'zucchini', 'zuppa ingles', on page 1310, with everything you can possibly think of in between, before the spectacular index kicks in.
Each definition is well written and given significant depth where required or has a link to an alternative, e.g 'zucchini' sends you to 'courgette'......so really useful for those more taxing crossword clues, too!
Interspersed with sumptuous photography, e.g.:-
(1) 'Ninon Langoustines' on page 671 which has a full colour plate.
(2) 'Cuts of Meat`, e.g. lamb on pages 664/665 which compares British and American cuts, followed by a step-by-step guide to preparing a rack of lamb, and various recipes.
(3) Regional photographs e.g. for `Provence' and maps e.g. `The Wine-producing Regions of Italy', defining 'The North', 'Tuscany and the Central Region' and 'The South and the Islands', plus the seas.
(4) Techniques, such as 'Making Chocolate Shavings' on page 290, or 'Cutting Up an Un-Cooked Lobster', on page 694.
(5) 'Types of Tomato', tomato products and tomatoes in cookery, pages 1216-1220.
(6) 'Freshwater Fish' and 'Sea Fish' on pages 486-493, including buying, preparing, filleting and skinning round fish and Dover sole.
A small taste of the recipes included within:
* French-style Double Crust Apple Pie
* Macaroni with Seafood
* Fish Fumet
* Lemon Délice
* Lobster Cardinal
* Béchamel Sauce
* Navarin of Lamb
* Passion Fruit Sorbet
* Simple Beef Consommé
* Spiced Gingerbread Fruit Charlotte
* Avocado Salad with Crab
* Artichoke Ragout
* Asparagus au Gratin
* Cape Gooseberry Jam
* Mushroom Purée
* Foie Gras Ravioli
* Boiled Salt Pork with Pease Pudding
* Hungarian Soup with Liver Dumplings
* Flaky Pastry
* Mocha Cake
* Compote of Prunes
* Redcurrant Jelly
* Chicken Waterzooi
* Cold Tomato Mousse
* Turbot with Morels
* Tarte Tatin
In a nutshell, a beautifully produced slip-cased book containing everything from simple, expected definitions such as 'sundae', 'ling' or 'olive', to the more unexpected - e.g. 'Liquorice Water', 'Superstitions of the Table', or 'Table Etiquette and Manners' ....complete with a dark red fabric ribbon to keep your page.
No doubt about it - this is luxury!