The most unusual cookbooks


People love to cook. Here are some of the best and most famous cookbooks that take the art of cooking to the next level.

Larousse Gastronomique. This book was first published in 1938. In total, the encyclopedia fit on the pages of 12 volumes. The publishing house "Chernovik" plans to publish them in full in our country. There is no doubt that this encyclopedia is the undisputed number one in the world of gastronomic books on food. The chief editor of the work Larousse Gastronomique was Prosper Montagne, a truly great French chef and educator. When the book came out, Auguste Escoffier, the king of French cuisine, was still alive. It is he who owns the preface to this printed masterpiece. Escoffier even wrote bluntly that Montagne borrowed a lot from his own work, The Culinary Guide. This was the first attempt to become such a grandiose work on cooking. I must say that they succeeded - the book became a living monument to the entire high French cuisine. In 1961, the book was translated into English, since then it has been reprinted several times, with new editions significantly different from their predecessors. The French cuisine itself received less and less attention, but the peculiarities of the dishes of other countries - more and more. But by the mid-1990s, Larousse Gastronomique began to change even more radically - then Joel Robuchon became the head of the authors. He decided on a complete rework of the encyclopedia - from the very beginning to the end. Robuchon has decisively got rid of outdated articles, and has remade many more. But the emphasis on French cuisine remained, but apparently never will go away from the book. It is best not to use this book as a guide to non-European food. For example, in the "Russia" section, even in the 2009 edition, fantastic nonsense is stated. But regarding European dishes, this book can be considered a standard. Today Larousse Gastronomique has its own serious competitors, for example, Oxford Companion to Food. Nevertheless, every gourmet should have a French culinary encyclopedia.

The Good cook. This series was produced from 1978 to 1981. Quite recently, the legendary culinary book began to be published in Russia by the Terra publishing house under the name Good Kitchen. In the original, 28 volumes were released, each of which was devoted to a specific ingredient or cooking technique. Domestic publications have so far released the following sections: "Fruits", "Bread", "Wine", "Sauces", "Vegetables", "Poultry", "Lamb", "Rolls, Pates and Galantines", "Cereals, Pasta and legumes ". Each book is divided into two parts, the first is devoted to the description of the product itself and related culinary technologies. The second is assigned to culinary recipes from all over the world. The series was originally produced in two slightly different versions - for the American and English markets. Since then, the unique book has never been reprinted, since the publishing house simply ceased to exist. The Good Cook series quickly became a bibliographic rarity, and remains so to this day. You can buy unique volumes only from second-hand booksellers or online auctions. A similar story happened with the translated series released by Terra in the late 1990s. No sooner had the reader had time to appreciate the unique work, as the circulation ended. As a result, over 10 years the cost of one volume from domestic second-hand booksellers jumped to $ 150. But for this amount on eBay, you can purchase the entire English-language kit. The books were published in a modest way unlike the current fashion. Recipes are clearly not dietary. However, this does not stop buyers at all, because there is simply nothing like this in cooking. The book is the most complete and detailed introduction to the subject. It is difficult to call it an ordinary collection of recipes - it explains the basics, subtleties and details of cooking. Having learned them, it will be possible to cook in the future without looking into any encyclopedias.

How to cook everything. This work, published in 1998, was authored by Mark Bittman. But the book has not yet been translated into Russian. You can buy it in online stores for $ 20 or more. The huge encyclopedia of 948 pages has not lost its relevance to this day. Today it is rightfully considered one of the main American culinary tools. Bittman himself recently ran his minimalist culinary column in The New York Times. He preaches common sense in the kitchen, in his opinion, to prepare tasty and healthy food, one should spend as little effort as possible, having done it rationally. The book "How to cook everything" itself fully lives up to its title - it tells how to cook literally everything - from chicken to quinoa. Not everyone likes this approach, because Bittman is quite practical and does not recognize kitchen magic. He says that any recipe is just a set of simple sequential operations that can be explained even to a child. At one time, the New Yorker magazine published quite a lot of material on the philosophy of cookbooks. Bittman played the role of Bazarov in the kitchen. Mark fundamentally rejected the possibility of chance, miracle and the existence of certain nuances that a mere mortal cannot understand. In any case, his book is the best guide for beginners, because Bittman quite simply and clearly explains the basics of cooking - how soups and sauces work, what you can do with them. The author loves to use variations - each section contains basic recipes for the main dishes and numerous improvisations on this topic. The book can be considered quite modern - it has already been republished ten times, while the last issue has been heavily rewritten, because it takes into account the latest trends in modern cooking. Bittman himself has a broad outlook, he most of all likes Japanese and Arabic techniques. The culinary specialist in his recipes uses everything that can be found on the shops of a modern supermarket, while he does not go to extremes. Very little attention is paid to meat - although Bittman himself is not a vegetarian, he sympathizes with them. In his books, the main emphasis is on cereals, vegetables and other useful ingredients. Interest in lard (melted fat) only looks paradoxical, because it does not fit in any way with the correct, almost vegetarian look of the book.

Jamie's Kitchen. Jamie Oliver released this book in 2003, talking about the kitchen in his own words. And in 2007 the Russian publishing house "CookBux" published an adaptation of the encyclopedia in Russian. Jamie Oliver appeared in front of the general public in 1999 on television. He was quickly recognized as the chief chef, first in the UK and then around the world. And when Oliver also released his own recipe book, it quickly burst into the number of British bestsellers. Over time, it became clear that the chef is rightfully considered the number one in the world. After all, his books have already been published in 40 countries and translated into 26 languages. He is the best-selling nonfiction writer in the past 10 years, and not only in the culinary environment. In fact, every book by Oliver is written so fascinatingly that even an uneducated hard worker who reads at all can get carried away by it. But in the right to be the first to be read from this man, Oliver's culinary masterpiece is also rivaled by his travel books "America Jamie", "Italy Jamie" and so on. The main idea of ​​his books is that cooking is not at all as scary as it seems, this is a simple and even fun event. It doesn't matter which work of Oliver you start reading it with. Whether it be Happy Days with a Naked Chef or Ministry of Nutrition, each could include a subtitle from the last one: “Anyone can learn to cook in 24 hours.” Jamie's Kitchen looks interesting, which begins with a section on purchasing pans and knives and ends with baked goods. And funny recipes, on closer examination, turn out to be not so simple. That there is only fried venison fillet with blueberries, shallots and red wine.

On food and cooking. This book was written back in 1984 by Harol McGee, but it has not been translated into Russian. It is surprising that there was no place for a single recipe in the culinary encyclopedia. Nevertheless, for over twenty years, the book has literally been idolized by chefs and home cooks in Europe and America. The book managed to become a real Bible of physics and chemistry of food, and it is intended for any reader. McGee graduated from California Institute of Technology and Yale University. There he earned his Ph.D. with John Keats and the Development of Taste. It was McGee who first studied why meat should be roasted this way and not otherwise, what happens inside the beets when they are boiled, and what is the molecular structure of chicory leaves. The author created his work really under the influence of inspiration, while he did not leave the stove for a second. After all, all the objects that McGee is interested in, he finds in his plate, in a saucepan or refrigerator. It can be safely argued that no popular science work has influenced the history of gastronomy as much as McGee's book. In addition, he managed to become the godfather of molecular cuisine, advising at one time the then unknown Heston Blumenthal. And in 2004, a new, highly modified and expanded edition was published. It has grown by more than 200 pages. So the author tried to react to all the changes that have occurred in gastronomy in recent years.

Simple art. This book by the Japanese author Shizuo Tsuji was published back in 1980, but we have it under the title "Exquisite Beauty" only in 2010. Quite a lot of books have been written about Japanese cuisine. But this classic edition could not be surpassed by anyone. Tsuji Sensei even founded the Culinary Institute in Osaka, this Japanese is the most influential person in his country among all who wrote about the national food. This is not least due to the fact that Tsuji received a classical European education, perfectly understanding his reader. That is why all the subtleties and nuances of Japanese food ceremonies are described so simply and clearly. Surprisingly, Tsuji was able to influence even the development of European cuisine, because it was his ideas that helped French chefs to come up with nouvelle cuisine, which became a new, simpler, healthier and easier version of traditional national cuisine. The book appeared in 1980, when America experienced a boom in Asian food craze. Unsurprisingly, Simple Art became a sensation. After all, the Japanese principles of approach to food are not simply explained there, they turned out to be so universal that they turned out to be suitable for many other things. The book was published as many as 26 times, it is still relevant today. After all, she is not chasing fashion, but talks about the eternal.

How to Cook. This book by Delia Smith was published in 2001 and became one of three by this author. In the Russian translation, you can find 2 works of the writer: "How to cook eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread and simple pastries" and "How to cook meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, cheese and chocolate" from the Eksmo publishing house. And the gastronomic world met Delia Smith back in 1969. Then the cake, made by her personally, decorated the album of The Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed". Since then, Delia has been writing her own cooking column for The Daily Mirror. She is one of those who patiently educate the British in the art of making culinary masterpieces at home. She is believed to be especially convincing in introducing people to the basics of this activity. And all her main tips from many years of experience were placed in three books with the same title "How to Cook". Books can be bought as one large three-volume book, or separately. The first part is devoted to the secrets of cooking rice, potatoes, eggs, pasta and simple baking. The second book is about meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits, cheese and chocolate. And the third mostly talks about kitchen items and gadgets, about how best to equip your place of work in general. There is a section there on the intricacies of homemade preparations and on cooking legumes. Such books should be presented only to the most inexperienced housewives, for whom such benefits will be the first. Home economics lessons are also organized based on the works of Delia Smith. After all, she talks about basic things quite patiently and tenderly, which children will like.

The Book of Jewish Food: An Oddysey From Samarkand to New York. Claudia Roden embarked on a culinary journey in 1996. You cannot find this book in Russian, but you can buy it on Amazon for $ 30. Sami Claudia was born in Cairo, so she pays special attention to Middle Eastern cuisine. She became famous for her works on this topic "A book of Middle Eastern Food" (1968) and "New Book of Middle Eastern Food" (1970). Oddly enough, an encyclopedia dedicated to Jewish food brought her fame. We can safely say that before her, no one took up this topic and did not dig as deep as she did. Rodin wrote her book for 10 years, having traveled around the world in order to obtain new recipes for the Jewish diaspora. The book tells about the cuisine of the Jews of Bukhara, Cairo, representatives of Andalusia, India and Tunisia. The residents of Thessaloniki, Morocco, Aleppo shared the recipes, Jews were found even in China. The work can be considered truly ethnographic. It also covers Sephardic and Ashkenazi cuisine, and the book reads like a fascinating detective story. After all, Rodin also describes the methods by which she obtained these recipes. It turns out that often in search of new recipes, she just walked the streets of cities and sniffed the smells of cooking food. This is how the actual first complete encyclopedia of Jewish cuisine, collected bit by bit from around the world, came about. Today, the book is consistently featured in the ratings of the best cookbooks, as the Guardian magazine placed it in third place. But Rodin herself is quite tough on home cooking and never seeks to simplify the recipe, because she tries to convey the authenticity of the dish.

Seductions of Rice. This book, published in 1998, was authored by a Canadian couple Jeffrey Olford and Naomi Duguid. It was never translated into Russian, but you can buy it on Amazon for $ 16. The authors are considered authorities in the field of not only baking, but also Asian cuisine. Books such as Home Baking, Flatbreads and Flavors, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Mangoes and Curry Leaves and Beyond The Great Wall brought them fame. They contain literally thousands of recipes from all over the world, all accompanied by fascinating stories, photographs and family memories. Olford and Duguid include in their books not only anecdotes, travel notes and tips, but even tourist maps. Seductions of Rice is also partly a tourist guide and partly an ethnographic guide. And all this is a "seasoning" for the main dish - rice. The book tells about the philosophy and practice of its preparation in the main rice regions of the planet - China, India, Japan, Thailand, Central and Central Asia. This topic may seem narrow only at first glance. As soon as you get to the second chapter, under the pretext of studying rice, a stream of new knowledge descends on the reader. Many are impressed only in the middle. It seems that the authors have been everywhere, tried everything and, importantly, managed to reproduce all the recipes in the conditions of ordinary Canadian cuisine. The book can be re-read and unique recipes can be used endlessly.

Flavor Bible.In 2008, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg released a unique book, which is very suitable for those who have already mastered the basic culinary secrets. These people are simply tired of the abundance of recipes that pour on them from such books. In the same work, practically nothing is said about the methods of cooking, just as there is no advice. The guide is designed to whip up the imagination of the culinary specialist, it sets out the most successful combinations of products. Page and Dornenburg had previously published a similar book - it was about the perfect combination of wine and food. In this case, the Flavor Bible follows a familiar pattern. Each product has its own list of ingredients with which it combines in the best or even unexpected way. For example, there are eighty-eight such combinations for a pumpkin. These are both classic (nutmeg, raisins, ginger, parmesan) and quite original (lobster, oysters, white chocolate, kumquats and apple brandy). There are also ready-made sets of combinations that are just asking to be tried - pumpkin with olive oil and rosemary, pumpkin with apples and curry, pumpkin with chicken broth, garlic, butter and thyme. And American chefs took part in the creation of such lists, who, moreover, provided each article of the encyclopedia with their own comments with practical advice. Flavor Bible is a kind of monuments to all the eternal culinary rhyme combinations, the chords proposed in it allow the game to sound in a new way.


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