The first edition of Larousse Gastronomique was published in 1938. A monumental encyclopaedia of culinary information compiled by Prosper Montagné, it is a never-ending source of inspiration to those who regard cooking and the preparation of food as something more than a necessity. It details the origins of a vast number of foods and wines, provides thousands of recipes, definitions of culinary terms, cooking methods, stories, and some etymology.

If you like food or cooking, you will find Larousse Gastronomique fascinating reading. My rather tattered copy contains 1098 pages in small biblical print.

Georges Auguste Escoffier wrote the preface to Larousse Gastronomique after reading the first draft, though he died three years before the book was finally published. Escoffier is often referred to as the “king of cooks and the cook of kings”.

The World Authority
Larousse Gastronomique
The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine and Cookery
Prosper Montagné
introduction by
A. Escoffier and Ph. Gilbert
Edited by
Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud
1000 Illustrations
Including many in full color
Copyright 1961 by Crown Publishers Inc.
Library of Congress Catalogue
Card Number: 61-15788

from the book jacket :
This is the internationally famous bible of cooking, the encyclopedia-cookbook which, because of its 8,500 recipes and the full information it gives on all culinary matters, has been accepted as the world authority. Ask any chef, ask any cooking expert.

You will find a copy of Larousse Gastronomique in the kitchen of any superior restaurant anywhere in the world. It is a prized possession of every gourmet who knows French. But until now it has been available only in the French language. Because of the complexities of variations in terms and measurements, it has never before been translated into English. Now, after three years of intensive work by a staff of twenty experts headed by two famous editors, it has been converted for American usage.

Larousse Gastronomique contains in its 1,100 large pages 8,500 recipes from all over the world and 1,000 illustrations, many in full color. Also, there are descriptions of cooking processes; full details about all foods, their nature and quality, and how to cure, treat, and preserve them; the history of food and cooking; articles on table service, banquets, food values, and diet -- in fact, just about every topic of culinary interest is covered.

Though Larousse Gastronomique is the prime reference book of chefs, gourmets, and experts, it is equally useful and convenient for the home cook. All recipes except for banquet specialties are on a small-group basis, stated in simple terms for convenience in the home

For this American edition, all entries have been brought up to date, notably in the articles on the preservation of food. Entries are in alphabetical order and are fully cross-referenced under both English and French names.

The illustrations in color, black-and-white photographs, and line drawings, many of which were made expressly for the American edition, show not only the appearance of the cooked dish but in many cases the intermediate steps of preparation as well.

In Larousse Gastronomique you will find clear information on almost any culinary subject, an excellent recipe for almost any dish you may want. All in all, it is a champion book, the number-one cookery book for anyone who cares about good food and the fine art of preparing it.


Crown Publishers, Inc.
419 Park Avenue South
New York 16, N.Y.

printed in the U.S.A.

Tragically, the copyright on this work was indeed renewed in 1989 (28 years after the original copyright), and therefore it won't be out of copyright until the year 2056 (95 years after the original copyright). Every entry cries out to be noded, but it cries in vain.

Entries noded under fair use :

  1. cat
  2. others as I fail to resist

This book was on the shelf in the house where I grew up. I remember it clearly, because it has a distinctive spine; however, I do not remember it ever being opened. The copy I own is a different one, which I bought used in 1992 or thereabouts. It has a sticker inside the front cover saying ex libris Joseph P. Kaczorowski : Joe, whoever you are, I've got your book.

I've always wanted a copy of the mythical Gastronomicon. This is as close as I'm likely to get.

I'm pleased to say that the 1988 English translation of 1985 French Larousse has no mention of cat as a comestible.

It is a wonderful and exhaustively complete reference to (cat free) cooking. The recipes are not recorded in instructive detail, as such it is not the place to learn the fundamental or advanced techniques of cooking. (Consider Mastering the Art of French Cooking volumes I and II by Julia Child.

Again, there is no mention of cat or chat. Cast iron is followed by catalane, chasseur by chateau. No cat. I'm glad, I like my Larousse, I would not want to have to toss it.

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