Adding to the Cooking Stacks and Book Finds: $5.00 Gets You a Lot

You never know what you are going to find at a used book store. I picked up some great cookbooks at my local Friends of the Library bookstore. This is what 5 bucks got me:
    The Cookbook Papers
  • Pack of 15 different cook booklets from the Culinary Arts Intstitute (1960s)
  • Sunset Cook Book of Breads (1976)
  • The Wine Industry: Wine Handbook Series No. 1 (Wine Advisory Board, 1962)
  • The Seafood Cookbook, Southern Living (1972)
  • And a Larousse Gastronomique, 1961 edition.
I already own two different versions of the Larousse Gastonomique, one the same exact edition, but this was in mint condition. And for 2.00, I figured I'd be a person who would actually appreciate it.

Old cookbooks are fun to flip through. And I love looking through older versions of books I already own. At times recipes are updated to reflect the proper usage of modern appliances, but in some cases things are left out, omitted to make room for what is 'hot' now, or even truncated. Case in point, the Larousse. Some of the older recipes are gone or changed (I know some of this is due to who ever is editing at the time) but shouldn't the definitions and entries still be roughly the same?

I did an article for BeachCuisine.com that listed the basic definitions prep for variety meats. One of the first places I went to for information was the Larousse. If I relied solely on the newer version, I'd be sadly informed. Working in the kitchen and handling different variety meats gave me a working knowledge, but if I had just opened up the book, I would be sadly without all those recipes. Granted, not many people I know of would actually search for cooking information on mesentery (the membrane around the intestines attaching it to the abdomen), but it got me to thinking what else has been changed or omitted.

That's why all those old, vintage books are so important. And why so many chefs refer back to those for the original way a comfort food dish was prepared without everyone else's take on it. I'll be putting up reviews to many of these cookbooks and sharing recipes from them on my pastry and cooking blogs, but as always, will be putting the link up here, too, so they are easily found.

Enjoy. And share your own cookbook haul.