From crispy baguettes to rich cheeses and beautiful patisserie, French cuisine is loved the world over. French cooking might seem overly complicated, but with the right cookbook everyone from complete beginners to experienced home cooks can have a go at recreating their favourite gallic delights in their own kitchen.
French cooking and technique is considered by many to be the basis of modern European cuisine, be that pastry making, baking bread or creating deliciously decadent sauces. In this article, we rank the top 10 best French cookbooks on Amazon and eBay. With tips from Michelin star chefs, rural recipes and much more, these books will introduce you to everything you need to know about French cuisine!
French cuisine is varied and places a lot of emphasis on technique. Once you have these techniques in your arsenal, you'll be able to cook up a storm, but it's important to find the book that suits your level, your facilities and your tastes.
While you'll find plenty of French cookbooks that offer a good overview as to what French food is all about, you may prefer to choose a book that focuses on a specific aspect of french cuisine instead. Whether it's once that caters to entry level cooks, or an exploration of a particular region or technique, each has their own spin to keep things interesting.
Although a lot of focus is put on the Parisian kitchen, there are plenty of dishes to explore from all across France. The French are very proud of their regional delicacies, and by finding a cookbook that focuses on a specific location, you might discover some lesser-know treasures.
Recipes don't even all need to be from a particular place. Some books collect together recipes from a number of rural areas across the country, or offer modern spins on Parisian classics.
To the novice cook, French cooking can seem a little complicated. So that you're not immediately put off, we recommend choosing a book that is specifically designed for beginners. These books will include simple recipes that normally don't require a huge amount of skill or equipment.
Alternatively, if you're already a bit pro in the kitchen who's in need of a challenge, opt for books that contain huge numbers of recipes or those that have been created by restaurants and fine dining experts. These more advanced books are sure to provide you with the level of difficulty you seek.
Perhaps you feel like you've got to grips with one area of French cooking and want to try something different. Many chefs, even professionals, neglect their pastry skills, so why not get a book on patisserie techniques to truly put your precision to the test?
To create the flawless creations one finds lining bakery windows across France takes time and patience, and a book by the experts in the field will help you get there. The only drawback of getting a book with such a specific purpose is that you won't get the same overview that others will give.
When investing in a cookbook, it's great to know that there's going to be some nice variety contained within the covers, and the more recipes there are, the more choice you'll have.
A more comprehensive cookbook also gives you the opportunity to expand your skill set. French cooking is technique-heavy, so the more chances you have to experiment with different components and ingredients, the more strings you'll add to you bow, helping you to become and all-round expert of French cuisine!
While the number of recipes is a good indicator of how much a cookbook has to offer, it's also wise to check how many pages it has in total. A longer book might not necessarily have the largest number of recipes, but could instead be filled with helpful tips and guides that will help to improve your kitchen know-how in a multitude of ways.
It is also good to check book length as sometimes cookbooks don't specify how many recipes they have. So you might need to use the length as a way of deducing how many there might be.
You'll want to think about whether you'd prefer a hardback or paperback cookbook. It should be noted that it's quite rare that you'll have a choice of covers, with the majority of recipe books available as one or the other.
More often than not, cookbooks are published in hardback. This makes them strong and durable, and it also means that they'll sit better on a shelf. However, paperbacks are lighter and easier to transport, so you can take your favourite recipes with you to share with family and friends.
There are always going to be those who prefer the feeling of flicking through a real book, but for those who enjoy the convenience of using an e-reader or tablet, it's worth considering the digital edition instead.
In general, eBooks are cheaper than print editions, and will be much easier to store. By going digital, you can have as many cookbooks as you like, all in one place - perfect for travelling around and cooking up a storm wherever you go!
Be prepared to escape into the wonderful world of French cuisine with our ranking of the top 10 best French cookbooks in the UK. We've picked a selection that cover a range of different skill levels and culinary techniques, so everyone can get excited about putting on an apron and hopping in the kitchen!
|Number of Recipes||75+|
|Number of Pages||174|
|Number of Recipes||150|
|Number of Pages||336|
|Number of Recipes||120|
|Number of Pages||320|
|Number of Recipes||-|
|Number of Pages||208|
|Number of Recipes||235|
|Number of Pages||656|
|Focus||Complete culinary reference book|
|Number of Recipes||800+|
|Number of Pages||1152|
|Focus||Limited space cooking|
|Number of Recipes||120|
|Number of Pages||288|
|Focus||Low-calorie classic recipes|
|Number of Recipes||140|
|Number of Pages||304|
|Number of Recipes||-|
|Number of Pages||784|
|Cover||Paperback & hardback|
|Focus||French food and culture|
|Number of Recipes||375|
|Number of Pages||432|
Michel Roux Jr.
Caroline Rimbert Craig
Francois de Melogue
Let's Eat France!
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1
The French Revolution: 140 Classic Recipes
The Little Paris Kitchen: Classic French recipes with a fresh and fun approach
French Pâtisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts
Provence: Recipes from the French Mediterranean
Rick Stein’s Secret France
The French Laundry Cookbook
French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian
Explore Every Aspect of Eating the French Way
Let Yourself Absorb the Enthusiasm for French Cooking
Luxurious French Cuisine With a Lighter Twist
A Book for Those With Limited Cooking Space
The Bible of French Cooking
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With This Guide to Patisserie
Wind Your Way Through the South of France
A TV Favourite Transformed into Book Form
Re-create the Mastery of the French Restaurant at Home
A Great Place to Start Learning the Basics
|Focus||French food and culture||French basics||Low-calorie classic recipes||Limited space cooking||Complete culinary reference book||Patisserie||French Mediterranean||Rural France||Restaurant favourites||Beginners|
|Number of Recipes||375||-||140||120||800+||235||-||120||150||75+|
|Number of Pages||432||784||304||288||1152||656||208||320||336||174|
|Cover||Hardback||Paperback & hardback||Hardback||Hardback||Hardback||Hardback||Hardcover||Hardback||Hardback||Paperback|
Now that you know which books you need to enjoy French cuisine, why not branch out and delve into more cookbooks that will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen? We have guides to cookbooks for teens, plant-based cooking and more region cuisines, so click the links below to help you find your next signature dish!
French food is crowd-pleasing fare, and bringing out any one of the dishes featured in these books is sure to bring a smile to everyone's face. Cooking is a way of caring for yourself and for others, so whether you fancy a light salad or a decadent feast, French cookbooks will show you how to prepare the very best!
Author: Emma Cramp
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