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Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  6,380 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Since its first publication in 1938, Larousse Gastronomique has been an unparalleled resource. In one volume, it presents the history of foods, eating, and restaurants; cooking terms; techniques from elementary to advanced; a review of basic ingredients with advice on recognizing, buying, storing, and using them; biographies of important culinary figures; and recommendatio ...more
Hardcover, 1360 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by Clarkson Potter (first published January 1st 1976)
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 ·  6,380 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Karen Powell
Highly regarded as a French gourmand's Bible, I keep this book close to the kitchen as a culinary dictionary. Entries are organized alphabetically, and brief recipes are filed where appropriate. For example, if you want to find different ways to cook sole, look up "sole," and the entry will provide an explanation of the subject, tips on how to select and prepare the fish, then different recipes that focus on ingredients rather than step-by-step instructions such as "Turn the oven to 400 degrees. ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
If, like me, you're a certain kind of person, a bit of a food snob perhaps, You will aspire to own this book and like me you will enjoy owning it but ever really do anything with it, because it's not really a very useful book, nor is it very enjoyable to flip through. But after spending so much $$ and having far to much misplaced respect for old world traditions, you will fail to realise or admit that a better choice of culinary bible would have been the Oxford Companion to Food and anything by ...more
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A reminder that as a child and thru high school my knowledge of the world was greatly dependent on the World Book Encyclopedia and Classic Comics, the precursors to our ability to search for every topic on earth thru the internet. Thanks to Erin and Andrew for this wonderful browsing companion. I find it impossible to read an entry without finding a term or reference that I don't know and need to look up elsewhere in the book. ...more
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the reference books we turn to when we need to know something that we don't know--with the internet, this is less of a necessary item on every cooks bookshelf, but we are book people, we have hundreds of cookbooks, so we of course have this too and use it farily frequently even to this day--there is alot to know... ...more
Jess B
Just the sheer effort put into this is astounding. It's a massive amalgamation of recipes, history, techniques, and science. Every entry is very easy to read and understand. For anyone super into food, this is a thing of beauty. I've never had so much fun reading an encyclopedia; this is definitely how they should all be put together! ...more
Gerry Pelser
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The constant companion. If I were ever to be in the "big Brother" house and allowed to bring only one book in, this would be it. Who knew there were so many ways to cook and egg? This book took me from someone who could make a passable bowl of spaghetti, to someone not afraid to experiment with tastes and flavour combinations. ...more
Kenji Alt
Aug 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's only shortcomings are its extraordinary franco-centricity, as well as factual errors here and there. Very useful resource though. Don't bother with recipes from it - obviously not very well tested (it's a reference book, not a recipe book). ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The depth of my nerdiness knows no bounds, and the hours of pleasure this behemoth has afforded me are infinite. I first discovered it as a teenager --my mom had an ancient copy-- and I would stand reading it at the kitchen counter until my neck got stiff and everyone else in the house had gone to bed. I know you're not supposed to read an encyclopedia cover to cover, but when the encyclopedia is so full of food and history and such mysterious phrases as "amalgamate the flour", how can one not? ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: miscellaneous
I consider myself pretty adept in the kitchen, and cooked and read enough for this book to catch my attention. It wasn't as helpful as I expected it to be, though I picked up a few practical points. I don't think I'm part of the target audience as a home cook, as a lot of the material was irrelevant to my kitchen and the ingredients that I have available or are within our budget. I'm glad I got it out of the library instead of buying it.
I'll add that the team who wrote this know their stuff, unl
Gary Burden
May 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I started training as a chef I was given a copy of this. I won my current copy in 1993. It is well thumbed and has been my kitchen bible for over 30 years. To interpret the recipes you do need a basic knowledge of culinary terms and basic skills. It’s a must for any budding chef or wanna be domestic goddess...
Aug 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Browse through it- You’ll be in awe of what French cooking entails. This is an encyclopedia! It covers anything and everything from utensils and tools to cooking methods and terminology and etymology. Just wow!
Benjamin Little
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culinary, reference, owned
Have you ever read a recipe and said, "what in the world is that?" I run into new things all the time, especially when exploring new cuisines or old recipe books. This book is the way to answer your questions. Granted I got this before I had internet access in every nook of my living space including out by the grill... but even still, I believe in paper reference. Then I can cozy up with my food dictionary and ponder how I want to cook up my left over ingredients by using the recipes and methods ...more
Apr 28, 2013 added it
Shelves: reference
Larousse. (2009) "Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia." Clarkson Potter

Brittany Ballard

Type of reference: Encyclopedia

Call Number:TX349 .L365 2009

Brief Description: This book is a chef's dream! It not only gives recipes, but also histories of the dishes as well. Students can learn hoe to cook as well as the history behind the dish.

Content/Scope: This book is written for high school students and above. It includes over 3,800 recipes, and pictures and descriptions o
Material Lives
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Buried in some of this book's lengthier entries are gems such as this one, which appears at the end of the 17-page entry (why? why not!) for "banquet":

"During the suppers which Louis XIV was wont to have with the princesses and the ladies at Marly, it sometimes happened that the king, who was very dexterous, amused himself by throwing little rolls of bread at the ladies and allowed all of them to throw them at him. Monsieur de Lassoy, who was very young and who had never before been present at o
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
This is a great book for the kitchen of anyone who loves food. This edition of the classic French reference book is quite beautiful. It covers everything--spices, wines, meats, butchery, and all the qualities most important to food snobbery. This is the first place to turn to for any food related question. The only problem: this is only the first place to turn to for any food related question. It's a great reference, quite handy, and pretty enjoyable to just flip through on a lazy afternoon, but ...more
Peter Jakobsen
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although I embrace cuisine as a necessary element of culture, I have hitherto been rather an ignoramus in the field. Not any more. This Christmas treasure, a gift from good (culinary) friends, was originally devised by Prosper Montagnè, with the first edition in 1938, as a comprehensive guide to matters gastronomic, a serious counterweight to Alexandre Dumas' Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine. A skim of the contributors to this (2009 English edition, based on the French, 2007) and earlier versions r ...more
No foodie has a complete shelf without a copy of Gastronomique. It's part of a sturdy foundation for both professional and home cooks, bursting with tons of illustrations and information. This edition has full color and sharp illustrations and even recipes, an unpretentious look at food and doesn't become condescending when explaining the intricacies of the culinary world. The translation is smooth and even allows for casual reading. Mine needs replacing soon from years of spills and stains and ...more
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely indespensible as a historical guide to classic cuisine, as well as a byzantine collection of oddities, rare recipes, and general foodie goodness. Some of the recipes are indeed quite dated, from ingredients (crow stuffed with juniper, anyone?) to measurements (take 'some' flour...) However, if I had all the information in this in my head, I could easily cook for the Marquis himself. One entry leads to another, to another, to another, in a spellbinding tome that you will want to read i ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Larousse Gastronomique is often cited as the best resource for culinary information. It's an enormous book with recipes, biographies, photos, ingredients, preparation techniques, cooking equipment, and food history. If you're looking for basic information, you'd probably be better suited with another guide. But if you're looking for in-depth or authoritative information, this is what you want. ...more
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves to cook
This is the book for anyone that wants to know anything about cooking! It is a very old, very french book that has been translated, however it is like the bible of cooking and techniques! I highly recommend it!
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
We selected the name of our dog from this book. I just sit down, flip open to a random page and begin reading and ooing and aaahing over the pictures. The recipes have all been a success so far. Great book.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it has great photo's and explanations of techniques, I would not suggest anyone using this book as a "Cook Book". Its useful as a reference book however for the beginner cook to exactly follow the ingredient amounts might not notice that the measurements are often incorrect. ...more
Brendan Donegan
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can't argue with the comprehensiveness of this work (although I was looking for a recipe on Panna Cotta the other day and there's no entry for it!), it's just amazing. Obviously there's a big French slant, but that's okay (it's not like you don't know what you're getting). ...more
Dhara (dha.raiter)
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a enthusiastic culinary student, this book was no less than my college crush. It was my bible. I treasured it like an idol.

In this day and age of internet, it isn't as important as it used to be, but I will never forget how I felt when I first read this book, cover to cover!
Dec 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Larousse Gastronomique is a French Culinary reference book, providing origins, technique, recipes of French Classics.
John Brogan
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Serious read for foodies, I cherish this- like many cherish a bible
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This book is a lot of fun, although I seldom use the recipes. It's a fun book just to look through for ideas and definitions. ...more
Tom Grammer
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A cooking reference I find indispensable.
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Tim and I purchased an older version of this in Powell's Books and I have been reading it off and on, LOTS of great food and history! ...more
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Every kitchen in the world needs this book. It is utterly indispensable for anyone who cooks more than mac and cheese. Or possibly, precisely for those who are intimidated by food and cooking.
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