I love my Larousse Gastronomique. Seriously, I do. I don’t think it obsoletes all other books about food or cooking, but if you had only one, it would have to be the Larousse Gastronomique without the shadow of a doubt.
One serious problem though: my French just barely reaches survival levels, and is not fit for reading this excellent source of information in its original language. I own an English version, thus. However, in many cases, I look for a French dish, and I know it by its French name, but the English edition’s index is arranged in alphabetical order of the translated names.
A multi-lingual translation cross-reference is missing, mapping a dish or ingredient’s native language name to the translated name. German Bratwurst would appear under B, and Vietnamese Phó would show under P, and Tarte Flambée would show under T, maybe with a second listing under F for Flammkuchen. All entries would resolve to the translated name used in this book, such as Noodle Soup for Phó, and of course the related page number.
It seems so simple and essential, I can’t believe they haven’t done it. Maybe they will now.