Lynn's Reviews > The Sauce Bible: Guide to the Saucier's Craft

The Sauce Bible by David Paul Larousse
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's review
Feb 09, 2008

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Recommended for: foodies, food historians
Read in January, 2007

This is not really a book for cooks. Both amateurs and working chefs will find that The Sauce Bible is way out of date. Most seriously, there is no discussion of blenders and food processors -which only show up in the recipe for peanut sauce. There's no evidence of concern with lower-calorie sauces. (The brief section on chutneys seems half-finished and carelessly done.)
Larousse does make passing mention of Escoffier's fascination with Jus Lié, the juice of roast meats thickened with corn starch or arrowroot. Escoffier recognized, and Larousse points out that the protein in flour gets in the way of the proper thickening of a liquid. But his book is too early (1993) to describe the advantages of Wondra and other low-protein, pregelatinized wheat flours. These have been formulated to dissolve quickly in either hot or cold liquids and have transformed sauce-making my allowing almost any liquid to be thickened without creating a gummy consistency. The saucier's options are therefore much greater today and it's probably time for a new addition.
The index is sadly, near useless-where's the entry for hollandaise?

That said, this book still has a place on my kitchen bookshelf. It assumes that you know which flavors you want to add when and that you don't need to be told that a celery sauce is good with shrimp or a zabaglione with fruit. There is a lovely and useful section on arabesques-those little plate paintings that lead your eye to the food in so many good restaurants these days. The photographs are delicious.

--Lynn Hoffman author of New Short Course in Wine,The and the remarkably saucy bang BANG: A Novel

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