The Evolution of Larousse Gastronomique

reviewed by Duncan Markham

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Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia
French Publisher: Editions Larousse
ISBN: 9782035823601, Year: 2007
US/UK Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Hamlyn
ISBN: 9780307464910/9780600620426, Year: 2009

This article is copyright. Reproduction of any part may only occur with express permission of the author.

Introduction | The editions | English 2009 | Table of editions | Notes on errors and quirks

Introduction

The most renowned encyclopedia of food, the Larousse Gastronomique, has just appeared in its latest English edition. Attractively presented with a bronze cover and black slipcase (UK version), it’s the latest in a series of impressive, fascinating and somewhat quirky editions in both French and English. Each edition is a translation and adaptation of a preceding French edition, and the msot recent French edition was published almost exactly two years ago, in mid-October 2007. We present here not just a review of the Larousse Gastronomique 2009, but also a history of this fascinating work.

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This feature provides an overview of the various editions and some of the interesting issues and changes. We have some more information which we will add as time permits. It is difficult to get access to all editions, so we also encourage readers to contribute with their own relevant observations and information where possible. New information will be incorporated into the feature as time passes, with acknowledgement.

The first Larousse Gastronomique appeared in 1938 after years of scholarship by editor Prosper Montagné and his staff. Montagné was regarded as one of France’s greatest chefs of the period and was already an established author before the Larousse Gastronomique first appeared. It was an awe-inspiring work, a product of the burgeoning interest in dining and the work of the early French celebrity chefs such as Antoine Carême and Gustave Escoffier (the Larousse Gastronomique drew quite obviously on elements of Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire). And it was more than a little quirky, amusing and chauvinistic (nationalistic).

larousseFr1

Over time, the Larousse Gastronomique has moved from being an amazing French-oriented encyclopedia of gastronomy for a French audience to being a work that attempts to be more international and has gradually obscured some of its French influences. The English versions have slowly developed in slightly different directions from the French ones, and it is indisputably the most renowned reference for French cooking among chefs, foodlovers and writers. Nonetheless, the Larousse Gastronomique is still a book that on close examination perhaps works best for a French audience, as its mixed reliability for many subjects outside of its French focus make it less “international” than it at first seems, reflecting both French preferences, prejudices (in early editions), and audience interests.

This article is copyright. Reproduction of any part may only occur with express permission of the author.


The editions

This first edition was a handsome volume bound in dark green leather with an embossed rotisserie skewering two chickens, flames licking them from below. The dustjacket was a perhaps less impressive image of a table carefully bedecked with everything from game birds to petit fours to cheeses to numerous bottles of wine. Inside were encyclopedic entries on all manner of things (the long entries for Confréries and Restaurant are often commented on) in addition to briefer entries for everything from Renard (Fox; a bitter meat, best boiled) to Fraisage (a pastry-making technique). There were almost 2,000 detailed illustrations and maps, and 16 colour plates. Reprints appeared a number of times in the following years. These had slightly modified covers and featured an additional 20 colour plates and updated wine vintage charts.




The first English translation didn’t appear until 1961, under the imprint of American publisher Crown and British publisher Hamlyn. "The World Authority", as it was described on the cover, was a blue leather-bound volume with a colourful (almost garish) dustjacket of a wooden surface with cabbage, onions, a knife and copper pot.

The editors’ introduction to the 1961 edition noted that they had "revised or amended the text only when it was necessary or useful to do so. Chemical analyses and all medical and dietary information which is obsolete or inaccurate for us today have been omitted, as have some of the very curious articles on foreign cooking." The internal appearance was very similar to the French 1938 original, with relatively few modifications in the text. Reprints appeared (in particular in the US, with over thirty printings; these are still easily found secondhand and cheap), and in the early 1970s some further modifications were made [more info?].

The introduction to the American edition noted many issues of English language terminology for ingredients, and the work included a conversion chart for "French, English and American systems of measuring". As a reflection on differences in gastronomic culture, the editors finished with this caveat:

"Remember that to the French the preparation of a meal is a work of art; they believe that without creative endeavour and a loving imagination on the part of the cook very little can be achieved. Larousse Gastronomique was not designed to help the lazy cook, but everyone who regards cooking and the preparation of food as something more than a necessity should find this great book a never-ending source of inspiration."

Meanwhile, the 1960s saw two new French editions, in 1960 and 1967, though these were only minor updates, then a 17-year gap until 1984 for the next edition. That edition introduced a number of changes and certain contemporary topics gained space (e.g. Nouvelle Cuisine). The addition of numerous modern colour pictures, some special feature boxes for certain entries and new colour maps made the Larousse Gastronomique (henceforth “LG”) a more attractive volume. There was also a slight increase in the number of biographical entries. Editor Robert J. Courtine shows the strongly (and unsurprisingly) French perspective of the revision: "… tourism, which has crossed provincial boundaries and now operates on a world-wide scale has enabled French people to experience a culinary change of scenery."

Despite its reputation and popularity, the delay in publishing English editions remained quite long (though not as great as the 23 years for the first edition). The next English edition took ten years to appear (1977) and the third took four years (1988). A concise paperback version (very few images, cheaper paper, smaller format) appeared in 1990 and again in 1999.

Although many years had passed, there were still problems with the scope of the new LG. The translation was done for the British edition, and the American editor, Jenifer Harvey Lang, commented that additions had been forbidden, leaving the first English edition revealing its lack of accuracy of the New World.

This English edition was still firmly anchored in its original French perspective, but the editor noted its new strengths as well:

"Larousse Gastronomique has not been without its idiosyncrasies in the past. We’ve corrected many of these in the present edition. The photographs, for example, are greatly improved and much more to the point than in earlier books. And some of the French prejudices against Oriental cooking have been diminished.

"In general, this edition of Larousse contains many more and more diverse entries than the previous editions. Descriptions and cuisines of other countries, such as China, are part of the work, acknowledging the sophisticated cook’s awareness of the world beyond Western Europe. … Adding another dimension, this edition of Larousse contains many more wine entries than the earlier editions, including wines from far-ranging countries like Hungary."

Although the 1988 English edition saw changes in content, including removal of many French-biased entries [did this also happen in the French version?], the mid-nineties brought the first major official changes to the LG, with an editorial committee headed by French chef-entrepreneur Joël Robuchon overseeing what was described as a thorough revision. For some people, this 1996 revision erased (or "sanitised") some of the anachronistic charm of the earlier editions, and the claim that it had been revised from the ground up was more than a touch of hyperbole. On the one hand, there was no need to modify certain entries, and on the other hand there were a number of serious errors retained unmodified (such as the description of Australian cuisine as being a product of British and Danish (sic!) influences).

This edition introduced a number of entries for renowned Parisian dining establishments, many defunct, and some personalities, but was criticised for being a rather incomplete “who’s who” of French chefs. The same French article draws attention to the limited content regarding some French overseas départements.

Five years later, in 2001, the English translation arrived. Externally quite different from the French version, the UK edition sported a black and white photographic cover showing a group of waiters. The volume came in a slip case and had a dustjacket [help?]. Concise editions in paperback also appeared later. The English translation should by rights have reflected all the, um, enlightened expansions and corrections of the fully revised French edition, but in fact it seems to have begun to diverge at this point, developing a few of its own strengths and eccentricities (French title translations are gone: where LG would previously have shown "Strawberry FRAISE", there was now just "Strawberry"; the entry for Bacon was larger in English; the lovely Street Cries of Paris section was gone). At times, the removal of French terms led to silly entry titles such as Four Spices, completely meaningless when most of the world refers to this mix of spices as quatre épices.

The most recent French edition , Le Grand Larousse Gastronomique, appeared in 2007. It’s a very heavy volume in a larger format than previous editions, and it comes in a slipcase with the same appearance as the book’s cover (no dustjacket). Attractive pages are set in a sans-serif font, bright pictures, good maps (mainly from the previous edition) and coloured boxes of recipes or other information help differentiate elements. There are also new pictorial sections on certain ingredients and techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t have the 1996 edition to compare it to for changes in entries. Notable additions were new entries for rising non-French chefs such as Ferran Adrià (elBulli) and Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck) who are complimented by gushing biographies. An entry for molecular gastronomy seemed to be absent(?), however.




English 2009

And so we come to reviewing the brand new bronze-covered, black-slipcased 2009 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique. What does it bring to the table? Beyond the attractive packaging, clean page design and good photos, perhaps most striking for this writer is the increased difference in information in the different language editions, even about French topics such as the regions. Recipe names are at times Anglicised, at times not, and while the French edition attributes recipes to chefs (the crème brûlée is from Joël Robuchon), these attributions are omitted in the English version. Other minor tweaks seem very odd (a difference of 10C in baking temperature for the aforementioned crème brûlée, and a different method).


I imagine many foodlovers buy the LG because it is such an unusual work, and its quirks are mostly forgivable or quaint; its Frenchness endearing. You don’t (or shouldn’t) read the LG as a world encyclopedia of food, but it is an incredibly interesting and useful resource. It’s naturally popular with chefs as a reference for classic technique and ingredients. There’s some risk in attempting to turn the LG into a general encyclopedia, rather than a reference tome with a clearly acknowledged French bent. If a new reader approaches the LG as "the authority" they’ll easily be misled on so many fronts, from the places where crocodile is eaten, to the uses of buttermilk, to the main types of gnocchi. But reading it with a Francocentric filter makes some of these problems less serious (though nonetheless unnecessary in times of much greater knowledge about the world of food).

Unfortunately, some errors in the latest English edition involve a failure of the editors to update to the most recent French version (Macaroons) or to improve on clearly flawed entries (Canada). Yet at the same time, some entries are clearly better in English than in the French edition (Australia, Bacon, Nouvelle Cuisine), even for unexpected topics like the restaurant Foyot and the general entry for Restaurant, and perhaps even the foods of Franche-Comté.

This article is copyright. Reproduction of any part may only occur with express permission of the author.


Table of editions

ISBNs are given where possible; we hope this list will become more comprehensive

1938 — 1st French 1961 — 1st English
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1948 dustjacket and cover (above)
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1950s? dustjacket (above)

Larousse Gastronomique. Par Prosper Montagné avec la collaboration du docteur Gottschalk. Préface de A. Escoffier et de Ph. Gilbert.
(8,500 recipes, 1850 illustrations, 16 colour plates; 1088pp (sometimes listed as 1087); additional 20 colour plates were added in 19??. The original 16 had black text in a serif font, while the newer 20 had blue text in a sans-serif font.)
Reprints: 1941, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1955, 1962, 1965; some/all included updated wine vintage tables.

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1965 US dustjacket and cover
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1961? UK dustjacket

US edition (Crown, 1961): Larousse Gastronomique. The first American Edition of the encyclopedia of food, wine and cookery. 8,500 recipes. 1000 illustrations.

UK edition (Hamlyn, 1961): Larousse Gastronomique. The encyclopaedia of food, wine and cooking. By P. Montagné, with the collaboration of Dr. Gottschalk. Edited by Nina Froud and Charlotte Turgeon. (Translated by Nina Froud, Patience Gray, Maud Murdoch and Barbara Macrae Taylor.)
(9780600023524; Hamlyn, 1965; 1098pp)

1960

No further information yet

1967 1977

Nouveau Larousse Gastronomique, par P. Montagné, édition revue et corrigée par R. J. Courtine
(2030089001; Librairie Larousse; 1064pp)

UK edition: New Larousse Gastronomique. The world’s greatest cookery reference book, by Prosper Montagné, preface by Robert J. Courtine. Text translated from the French by Marion Hunter; edited by Janet Dunbar.
(060036545X; Hamlyn, 1977; 1064pp, 46pp plates)

US edition: New Larousse Gastronomique : the encyclopedia of food, wine & cookery, by Prosper Montagné. American editor, Charlotte Turgeon. Preface by Robert J. Courtine. Original preface by Auguste Escoffier and Philéas Gilbert. Text translated from the French by Marion Hunter.

1984 1988
lg_ 978-2035063014_larousse1984_sml lg_larousse1984_sml

Larousse Gastronomique. Sous la direction de Robert J. Courtine.
(9782035063014/2035063019; Librairie Larousse; 1142pp?)

lg0517570327_1988crown_sml

US edition: Larousse Gastronomique: the new American edition of the world’s greatest culinary encyclopedia. Edited by Jenifer Harvey Lang
(0517570327; Crown, 1988; 1193pp)
(9780517503331; Crown; )

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UK edition: Larousse Gastronomique:the world’s greatest cookery encyclopedia
(0600323900; Hamlyn, 1988; 1193pp)

lg_1990conciselgc9780600600091_1999ham_sm

The Concise Larousse Gastronomique : the world’s greatest cookery encyclopedia.
(0749303166; Mandarin, 1990; 1436pp; red cover)
(0600600092; Hamlyn, 1999; 1436pp; blue cover)

1996 2001
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Larousse gastronomique: avec le concours du Comité gastronomique présidé par Joël Robuchon.
(9782035073006; 1998; 1212pp)
(9782035602275; 2000; 1215pp)
(9782035602220; 2000?)

lg_-9780609609712_2001clark lg_-978-0600602354_ham2001h

Larousse Gastronomique, with the assistance of the Gastronomic Committee; president, Joël Robuchon
(0600602354; Hamlyn, 2001; 1350pp)

lg_9780600608639_hamconc200 lgc9780600616986_2007ham_sm

New Concise Larousse Gastronomique: the culinary classic revised and updated with the assistance of the Gastronomic Committee President Joël Robuchon. English edition editor Bridget Jones.
(9780600608639; Hamlyn, 2003; 1440pp; cover: chef sipping from ladle)
(9780600616986; Hamlyn, 2007; 1440pp; cover: chef looking to right)

2007 2009

lg_-978-2035823601_laro2007

Le Grand Larousse gastronomique: avec le concours du Comité gastronomique présidé par Joël Robuchon. 4000 articles, 1700 photos, 2500 recettes.
(9782035823601; Larousse, 2007; 992pp )

lg_-978-0600620426_ham2009_sml lg_9780307464910_cro2009sml

Larousse Gastronomique
(9780600620426; Hamlyn, 2009; 1152pp)
(9780307464910; Clarkson Potter, 2009; 1216pp)

Other language editions
We will try to add info about Spanish, German and Russian editions. If anyone has a picture of the beautiful Russian edition, we would appreciate a copy.


Notes on errors and quirks

There are well known amusements, Gallicisms, chauvinistic comments and lacunae in the various editions of the LG, with each new edition bringing more fun for pedants and reviewers alike. Adding translated versions to the mix, each with their own editorial inputs, makes comparing the volumes both fun detective work and, well, a bit dull at times! Below are a mix of some of the classic quirks alongside new observations. We’ll add to this list as people make us aware of their own favourites.

Cris de Paris (Street Cries of Paris): until LG1984fr/LG1988en, a lovely description of the trades and calls of various street vendors was found, including a few verses from different sellers. Reduced to a brief entry in LG2007fr (or earlier?) and absent from LG2009en.

Bacon: a few paragraphs in LG2001en, expanding on the entry in LG1988en, but just a summary in LG2007fr as a type of smoked pork belly popular as a breakfast dish, especially with eggs.

Macarons (Macaroons): This is a very odd case, with LG2007fr reflecting the popularity of the Parisian gerbet macaron (though not mentioning the main producers Ladurée or Pierre Hermé) and giving two recipes from Pierre Hermé. The same recipes appear in LG2009en, but the text is identical to LG1988en, making no mention of the gerbets and describing the macarons de Nancy as the most well known.

Canada: long incorporated into the descriptions of North American cuisine, Canada gets its own listing in ?LG1996fr. The French and English versions are largely the same, and the glaring omission of any reference to the use of maple syrup is very strange (the earlier descriptions mention it).

Australie (Australia): completely unrevised in LG2007fr, Australian gastronomy is described as having British and Danish influences, and no gastronomic finesse in the preparation of fish and seafood. Almost the same text appeared in LG1988en (though it says British and Dutch rather than Danish). At least the new LG2009en has a completely revised account with more accurate information, though some inaccuracies remain (the "pie floater" as a national dish). The information on wine regions is better in both recent versions and they feature a good map.

Babeurre (Buttermilk): little used in France, the standard entry in all French editions has described it as little more than a nourishing supplement, otherwise used in industry. LG2009en finally accords its role in Scandinavian cooking a little attention, though doesn’t mention its prevalence in North America.

Restaurant: Starting as a rather opinionated history of the “restaurant” with many quotes from Brillat-Savarin, a somewhat disparaging comment about Americanisation of dining concepts, and distinctly disdainful mention of pretentions of mediocre “names” in the trade, later revisions became more matter of fact and improved the quality of the historic information (LG1984fr/1988en or earlier). By LG2007fr, the entry has shrunk from just over two full columns to a mere six paragraphs, while the LG2009en version was unchanged from the revision twenty years earlier. Neither of these new editions has updated the entry to comment on modern restaurant/dining trends.

This is just a starting set of examples. Contribute your own favourites by leaving a comment below and we’ll incorporate the more interesting ones in the list.

My thanks to Greg Ralph and Max Hauser for their contributions in developing this article.

This article is copyright. Reproduction of any part may only occur with express permission of the author.

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15 Comments

  1. Posted 13 Nov 2009 at 21:25 | Permalink

    I have a copy of the 1979 printing of the 1977 English edition. One of my favourite “quirks” is the entry on “HOAXES (Gastronomic) SUPERCHERIES GASTRONOMIQUES”. Categories include “Jest of a host” , “To test the plate and discernment of a guest” right on to “Hoaxes dictated by events”, and winding up with your straightfoward “Practical jokes”.

    Also, the entry on hippopotamus, a “large amphibious pachyderm whose flesh is much sought after for food by the African natives”.

  2. Posted 03 Dec 2009 at 12:55 | Permalink

    It so irks me when people refer to Julia “Childs”. Alas, in this big, expensive new edition of LG Julia is given her own private entry, but within it her husband is named as Paul Childs (page 247). Sigh. Where is the copy editor when you need her?

  3. Posted 06 Dec 2009 at 08:01 | Permalink

    Having researched the croissant (brought around 1839 to Paris by August Zang) rather thoroughly, I was bemused to see that the previous edition retained the long-discredited tale of the pastry being invented at a siege (in the Larousse’s version, a siege of Budapest no less, rather than the more common, if equally erroneous, Vienna).

    The entry on Mayonaisse used to include a highly dubious derivation from a supposed medieval word (I’ve found it in no dictionary of old French) meaning “egg yolk”. Since it appears that mayonnaise isn’t even mentioned as a sauce until the nineteenth century, I doubt any of the common explanations apply, but the Larousse’s was – I’m guessing still is – particularly egregious.

    The last I looked too the plate showing breads not only didn’t match up with those described in the text, but was already old in the Thirties. Some of the breads have long disappeared from any meaningful use.

  4. Posted 07 Dec 2009 at 17:16 | Permalink

    Thanks for your contributions so far!

    @Jim: could you clarify the years of each edition you’re referring to? It’s important for the strength of this information.

  5. Posted 08 Dec 2009 at 03:42 | Permalink

    Sorry. I assumed you had access to all of them, so I worked from memory.

    The 1938 French version and the 1961 English version both have the Budapest origin for the croissant (which in fact -as the kipfel – is documented back to at least the 12th century), Careme’s musings on mayonnaise (and the supposed word “moyeu” for yolk), and a plate of breads which includes things like the “pain marchand de vin” and the “pain joko”, both nineteenth century favorites which are rarities today.

    I’ve checked the 2001 English version for the croissant story – still there, even after Alan Davidson critiqued it rather cruelly -, don’t have it at hand to check the others.

    It’s particularly frustrating, by the way, that they haven’t updated the breads plate (though it would be nice if they kept the other for its history), since no serious plate showing all the modern French breads seems to exist (I asked the French bakers’ site), unless you count a somewhat confusing map of French breads by Poilane.

    I know French bread and the croissant pretty well, mayonnaise more superficially. But I have yet to find the latter so much as mentioned in the 18th century, and the 19th century recipes don’t start using the egg yolk-vinegar emulsification until around 1830 (gelatin did the job at first). I’m guessing the most recent version still includes Careme’s fairly speculative account and the strange reference to “mayeu”.

  6. Posted 08 Dec 2009 at 13:34 | Permalink

    Quick update on “moyeu” – It being a few years since I looked this up, I thought I’d try Google Print. Lo and behold, “moyeu” did indeed mean “Egg yolk”, though in a window of time after the medieval period and going into the early modern (1550-1700?). What’s more I did find one recipe where egg yolk is beaten with oil – “rosy” oil (huile rosat), that is, oil with roses and other ingredients mixed into it – until it is thick. Not in a cook book though – in an apothecary text (“Les secrets” By Girolamo Ruscelli):
    http://books.google.com/books?id=94w8AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA389&dq=moyeu+oeuf+huile&lr=lang_fr&as_drrb_is=b&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=1000&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=1700&num=100&as_brr=0&cd=1#v=onepage&q=moyeu%20oeuf%20huile&f=false

    It’s a kind of salve.

    Doubt there’s any direct link with mayonnaise, but still it looks like the Larousse wins this one. Its explanation is still speculative, but far more reasonable. (More reasonable still, though, is the idea that “mayonnaise” was originally “bayonnaise”, that is, a sauce from Bayonne.)

  7. Posted 07 Jan 2010 at 19:22 | Permalink

    Well, I finally found a browsable copy of the new edition. And they STILL use the doubly wrong version of the croissant origin (see below). Then, rather perversely, they removed the antiquated images of breads, but instead of replacing them with modern ones (which would be quite valuable), they put in a whole different series of black and white photos of the baking process.

    Quite maddening. (Anyone in France want to go their local baker and get and photograph all the basic breads?)

    On the doubly wrong croissant origin: first of all, Alan Davidson outlined much of this in “The Penguin Companion to Food” years ago. Is it really possible that no one revising a major cooking encyclopedia thought to cross-reference the matching entries just as a control?

    Davidson points out what several 19th century writers already had – that the idea that the croissant was invented at the siege of Vienna by the Turks (when bakers working late supposedly heard them tunneling and gave the alarm) is a myth. But he also points out that later editions of the Larousse mysteriously transfer this to Budapest.

    What he does not say is how especially ludicrous the second version is. Why? Because at Budapest, the Turks weren’t besieging. They were besieged (by the Holy Roman Empire forces).

    So no editor over several editions of the Larousse has either checked Davidson or bothered to do some elementary historical research on the underlying events.

    I actually put together a book that goes into all this in some length, but for those who want the short version – the kipfel (ancestor of the croissant) has been documented in Austria since at least the 12th century and its arrival in France and subsequent renaming as the croissant can pretty precisely be dated to 1838 or 1839, when August Zang (credited for this and some other things, including a number he didn’t bring, like the baguette or the poolish method) opened his Boulangerie Viennoise.

    I might, I suppose, at this point actually write the editors of the encyclopedia. But if this entry hasn’t been revisited, how many others also include out-of-date or even discredited information?

  8. Cris
    Posted 24 Feb 2010 at 02:34 | Permalink

    Hello, I’m from Brazil and I wonder which is the best one english edition 2009, from UK or US? If someone can help me, I appreciate so much! Thanks!

  9. Posted 11 Apr 2010 at 10:17 | Permalink

    Hello Cris. Apologies for publishing your comment late. The UK and US editions are identical, to our knowledge, except for the covers and publisher names.

  10. Ann
    Posted 14 Sep 2010 at 22:41 | Permalink

    Which version is better in English…the 1988, 2001, or 2009? I’m interested in buying, but I’m not sure which to get.

  11. Posted 14 Sep 2010 at 23:27 | Permalink

    I like the 1988 version because it is old-fashioned (even for its time) and therefore more interesting. The 2009 version is shiny and pretty and new, with clear colour maps and more, but for every new version, it has less “character” in the content. As you can see, it’s a matter of stylistic preference:)

  12. ibrahim Mohamed Abdulhady
    Posted 09 Nov 2010 at 01:29 | Permalink

    really i was study 28 years ago , and i am still need the Le Grand Larousse gastronomique , due to i am working now as a Operations Manager and B&I Manager .so this book is my base .

  13. Posted 25 Jan 2011 at 13:59 | Permalink

    I bought the shiny, new version because it was on sale for half price :) First entry I turned to was Macaroon, which made me wonder if I’d spent my money wisely or not. It is still a great reference tome, quirks and errors aside. Thanks for the post, I’ve linked to it in one of mine.

    Cheers
    Shaz

  14. Lesley Hayward-Mudge
    Posted 26 Nov 2012 at 22:50 | Permalink

    I have two copies of LG – Hamlyn 1988 and the 2001 (with slipcase and cover in black and white). I do feel it’s a bit silly to have two but which one do I let go? I’m in such a quandary and have been dithering for days. The older one has so many quirky items,explanations and French words – but – the more recent one seems to bring it into a modern cuisine with more variety but not quite so much history. Should I really keep both?

  15. Posted 04 Dec 2012 at 20:43 | Permalink

    Hi Lesley. I would keep both:) Or, alternatively, dispose of the 1988 and go looking for something much earlier. Or, alternatively, buy the newest and the oldest. Or… well you can see the problem! If there is value in the nuggets of information in both of the books you have, then why not keep them?

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Now Fergus Henderson’s books are joined together in a compendious volume. With a dozen new recipes on top of 250 existing ones, more than 100 quirky photos and exceptional production values, The Complete Nose to Tail is not only comprehensive but extremely desirable.

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New release: The Country Cooking of Greece

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The Country Cooking of Greece captures all the glory and diversity of Greek cuisine in one magnum opus from Greece’s greatest culinary authority, Diane Kochilas. More than 250 recipes were drawn from every corner of Greece, from rustic tavernas, Kochilas’ renowned cooking school, and local artisans and village cooperatives.

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