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Gaston Lenotre Book Editions Question

ptix's picture

Gaston Lenotre Book Editions Question

Can someone who has seen both editions tell me what the differences are between the 1983 and 2021 editions of French Pastries and Desserts by Gaston Lenôtre


BrianShaw's picture

... or the 1977 edition?


Great question, I've done a little bit of searching and haven't been able to find answers.

BrianShaw's picture

This is all I've ever seen in terms of explanation:

"This new edition of the now cult cookbook--first published in English in 1977 as Len???tre's Desserts and Pastries --has been updated in collaboration with the chefs at Len???tre Paris and two of the founder's children."

SueVT's picture

Bought this new. It's a lovely book, don't know why anybody would want to change it. I think they are just re-issuing it, not a bad idea.

BrianShaw's picture

After buying and starting to enjoy the revised edition, I saw this thread and got curious... so bought a copy of the original (at a VERY good price).

Doing a real analysis fo the differences is more work than I'm willing to do but I did flip through both many times. The most classic recipes are virtually unchanged. The chapter organization has been slightly updated and there may be some recipe differences but I really didn't audit at that level of detail. The changes seem to reflect a change in the way modern commercial bakery products are made and sold.

Here are some of the key differences I noticed:

  • Some recipes have been re-scoped from a large, single product to multiple individual products.
  • Replacing a few traditional methods, like apricot glazing in the original and modern glazing technique using pectin NH in the revision.
  • The book format recipe format has been updated for improved usability (my opinion) from a "running format" where one recipe follows the other no matter where they start on a page to each recipe starting on a new page.
  • The revised version has updated illustrations that are printed with the recipe rather than using page references between recipe and illustration.
  • The index in the revision has been integrated rather than having separate ingredient and recipe indices. The recipe numbers in the original have been discarded and many recipe names have been re-translated, for the better, in the revision.
  • The difficulty-level markings have changed from a chef hat icon to stars... boo, this really upset me. 
  • Probably the most annoying change is the inclusion of a leaf illustration next to the page number in the revised edition, which always looks like a smudge of debris to me. LOL

If I was buying one or the other, I'd probably opt for the revised version. But the original can be bought for so little money that, why not buy both. The introductions are different and both well worth the money.  :)