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The Most Excellent Book of Cookery = Livre fort excellent de cuysine (1555)
College of the Pacific Faculty Books and Book Chapters
  • Ken Albala, University of the Pacific
  • Timothy Tomasik
Document Type
The Livre fort excellent de cuysine is one of a family of cookery books that first saw the light with Pierre Sergent’s La Fleur de toute cuysine (renamed Le Grand cuisinier de toute cuisine) of 1542. This edition of the Livre fort excellent was published in 1555. Scholars have often dismissed the printed cookbooks of 16th-century France as simple rehashes of the great medieval Viandier of Taillevent or as merely concentrating on marginal dishes such as sweets and sugarwork. True French cooking, they say, did not start until the publication of Le Cuisinier françois by La Varenne in 1651. While there is some truth in this, the translators and editors of this book would maintain that the change from medieval to modern (already under way in Italy and Spain for example) can be dated back to this book and its kindred; that it was more than a plagiaristic copy. The Livre fort comprises about 70 pages of original French, with an English translation on facing pages.
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Publication Date
Prospect Books
  • Food Studies
Citation Information
Ken Albala and Timothy Tomasik. The Most Excellent Book of Cookery = Livre fort excellent de cuysine (1555). Totnes, Devon, England(2014) p. 1 - 281
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