Les Dons de Comus

Francois MARIN

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"A CUISINE MODERNE SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED BASED ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF CUISINE ANCIENNE": MARIN'S LES DONS DE COMUS, REVISED AND EXPANDED 1750 EDITION

[MARIN, Francois]. Les Dons de Comus, ou l'Art de l Cuisine, Reduit en Pratique. Paris: Chez la Veuve Pissot, 1750. Three volumes. 12mo, contemporary speckled calf sympathetically rebacked at an early date with black morocco spine labels laid down, raised bands.

Revised fourth edition of this classic of French gastronomy and cookery, one of the most important collection of recipes from the 18th century—greatly expanded to three volumes from the 1739 one-volume first edition—with engraved allegorical frontispiece in Volume I, an attractive copy in contemporary calf covers.

This classic work deals with French cuisine in all its possible variations, from appetizers to meat, from fish to sauces, from soups to pastries. Though published anonymously, the author was François Marin, master chef to Madam Gesvres and head steward the Maréchal de Soubise, who was favored by King Louis XV of France and protected by Madame de Pompadour. "The preface of his Les Dons de Comus is an interesting history of the culinary arts in which the writer concludes that cooking has become too complex and that a cuisine moderne should be established based on the foundations of cuisine ancienneDons de Comus is a logically planned catalog of recipes and menus, embracing many of today's classic garnishes (some created by Marin) and almost 100 sauces, few of which would be strange to today's chef… Les Dons de Comus is divided into three parts… the first contains chapters on potages and the preparation of various foods. The second part is a discussion of hors d'oeuvres and side dishes, both meat and meatless, as well as a list of sauces and their recipes… The final section contains four-course menus arranged according to the four seasons of the year" (Harrison, Une Affaire de Goût 87). First published in 1739 in one volume, the 1742 second edition was expanded to the present three volumes, and the popular work was followed by a third edition in 1743 and the present 1750 fourth edition (and was reprinted several times after that as well). Text in French. Bitting 309. Vicaire 285.

Text quite clean, faint newspaper remnants to blank front flyleaf of Volume I. A few minor scuffs to extremities and joints of binding. A desirable, exceptionally good copy of this classic of French cuisine in contemporary calf covers.

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