Book Review: New Larousse Gastronomique (1981)

Review guidelines

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ extraordinary

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ exceptional, has avoidable flaws

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ reasonable, has unavoidable flaws

⭐️ ⭐️ mediocre, significant drawbacks

⭐️ consider something else

Purchased myself, reviewing for merits

Culinary Encyclopedia



out of print, newer editions available

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A fascinating encyclopedia of traditional cuisine, primarily focusing on french cuisine though comprehensive enough to cover all major culinary references in reasonable detail.

This copy is the 1981 fourth impression of the 1977 English translation of the 1960 edition printed and bound in Italy and filmset in the UK.

Purchased from a local store in Toronto sometime in the early 2000’s.

Although some aspects certainly do date this book the photography remains marvelous, as you will see.

Culinary encyclopedias are quite rare nowadays and the online ‘replacements’ are nowhere near as well designed as this book.

High quality paper is used for the colour images with the rest of the book using paper similar to the Oxford Dictionary of English, and about the same size too!

The most interesting aspect would have to be the layout of the pictures that are interwoven throughout the book in a tasteful way. Quite unlike the modern practice of bunching all the colour pages together in one inconvenient spot, as interweaving increases labor costs.

Haven’t found any typos yet though chances are there would be some in a book this size. Shown below are the best colour plates.