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15 gross-sounding dishes in Julia Child's classic French cookbook

August 15, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Cookbook author and popular chef Julia Child in 1988.
Cookbook author and popular chef Julia Child in 1988. (Los Angeles Times )

It's the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child, the American who learned how to cook like a French chef while living abroad and brought those skills home with "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," published in 1961. Later, Child became a wonderful, batty television host, cooking on the fly for PBS and sipping as much sherry as she liked.

Child's cookbook was a success, of course, but it ran counter to midcentury America's enthusiasm for prepared, packaged foods. Boning a duck on your own was about as far as you could get from putting a TV dinner in the oven.

These days, epicureans have re-embraced the do-it-yourself, close-to-nature, old-fashioned artisanal food aesthetic. Many gladly will bone their own fowl. This is charming, yes.

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But just because something is old-style doesn't mean it is entirely appetizing. In fact -- according to this subjective reader and eater's perspective -- "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" includes a number of positively gross dishes. What number? 15.

15 gross-sounding dishes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking":

1. Boiled bottom round

2. Brain souffle

3. Cold chicken in lemon jelly

4. Eggs in aspic

5. Fish mousse

6. Flambeed kidneys

7. Foie gras stuffing with prunes

8. Jellied pheasant in escabeche

9. Laitues braises (braised lettuce)

10. Leftover veal loaf

11. Liver canapes

12. Marrow sauce

13. Pineapple boiled in syrup

14. Rabbit pate

15. Sweetbreads au gratin casserole

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