Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Most Useful Cookery Books Ever

I have found the Waitrose Food illustrated article on The Most Useful Cookery Books Ever, that - as I wrote yesterday - propelled Roast Chicken and other stories to the top of the best sellers list.

The list is definitely worth a read. But lo, it concludes -

And Finally� The Most Useless Cookbook we've Ever Come Across Larousse Gastronomique

Hamlyn; �60 (first edition, 1938) If you're a historian or a pub quizzer, Larousse may be useful; if you're a cook, it's not. Some might argue that this culinary encyclopaedia is not strictly a cookbook, but it markets itself as such ("an all-time classic cookbook," it says on the back cover) and contains hundreds of recipes. These are laid out in annoyingly dense blocks and do not include all the information you need; the size of dishes and tins are noticeably absent, for instance. Even as a reference work, it's overrated: esoteric and stuffy, it pitches itself as a universal guide, but is heavily biased towards all things French. If you've shelled out �60 then carted the hulking great thing home, you deserve more.

Drat! I bought Larouse Gastronomique for my brother's birthday a couple of years ago. He cooks with wine, sometimes he even adds it to the food.

As for me, since food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

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