(WARNING: This review is going to be stellar because this book is stellar. You have been warned!)
Check out this book!
It’s in French! GASP!
I am not asking you to read along with me in French now people. Or am I? It’s just that I have always, and I mean always, been interested in French cooking and how can there be any better way to learn than with this book.
As I have mentioned before, I recently realized that all my recipes are no use to me in this country because the measures are off. Here, in Europe, cooking is done in the Metric system. In Canada, both measuring systems are used but really I have only ever cooked with the imperial system, except when I was taking cooking classes. But don’t fret, the metric system of weighing ingredients (which I have done, time to time already on this site) is WAAAY more accurate. 225g of flour will always be 225g of flour no matter what the weather is outside or type of flour you are using or the brand of flour. On the other hand, 1 cup of flour will not always weigh the same. Get it? If not just read it over .
So back to the story. I needed a new cookbook and when I was shopping for one I had a magnificent memory of reading My Life In France by Julia Child. Her husband bought her the Encyclopedia of French Gastronomy for her birthday and then she began her career as a well known French cook (even though she was American). Now this is not the same version but it is based on that original.
So I browsed the shelves of the huge French bookstore (the cooking section of course) for any freaking large books and I found it and quite easily at that. But 50 euros!!! Are you kidding me! Go and make that conversion to dollars and come back just as shocked as I was. Go. I’ll wait…
I couldn’t buy it.
A few days past and I couldn’t take it anymore. I bought it. As you can tell by this book review.
Oh and I don’t regret it at all because it is so awesome. And it is a fabulous way for me to practice my French. I am sure I will cook up some recipes for it so go and get yourself a scale like I have!
If you want to practice your French, I highly recommend it, if not, there is an american version quite similar but it does not focus on French cuisine but cuisine in general. I think I scored the better of the two! Come on, it’s French food afterall!
The best part of this book is that the first half is not recipes. That is right, I did say this is the best part of the book. And it the best part because this first half is about this…
And then the book proceeds to tell us all about making doughs, preparing eggs, cutting meat and fish and so, so much more. The pictures are so comprehensive as well…
Smack dab in the middle, riiiight before it gets to the recipes it has this section…
There is a comprehensive glossary, conversion charts and diagrams like the one below…
So now, when a recipe asks for red berries in general terms I know where to refer to become acquainted with these berries.
And now for the recipes! There are about a dozen sub-titles in this section: Sauces, Soups, Fish, Cheese (yes a whole section on cheese recipes!), Desserts, and more!
Oh and did I already mention the pictures are so captivating? They really make me salivate..
And the best part…BY FAR!…is that it comes with a CD!! Yes, I did say that it comes with a CD!!! GASP!!!
And just for formalities, it is written by Vincent Boue and Hubert Delorme. It is photographed by Clay McLachlan with a preface from Paul Bocuse.