Backroad Bistros, Farmhouse Fare

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``How do you sort out the countrified from the real McCoy?'' That's the rhetorical question that shapes this new French country cookbook. Certainly, hundreds of have aimed to present the country's best cuisine-but Sigal argues that some of France's most interesting food can be found on the tables of those who produce it. Here, her case is well-founded: few farmers are as articulate, opinionated or fascinating as the idiosyncratic artisans of agriculture she features. Ten chapters cover the elements of French country food, from soups to desserts. Sandwiched between recipes are entertaining asides on everything from farmhouse cider to a tripe contest in Caen. Sigal, an alumna of L'Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, knows how to reconstruct a recipe for an American kitchen while respecting French culinary traditions. And she has a storyteller's ear for dialogue: a restaurateur serves garlic soup on Christmas Eve to unwary diners with the cheery advice: ``You weren't planning on going to church, were you?'' Sigal lets her subjects speak for themselves to establish a sense of place and food. Yet her own essential voice is practical and humorous, offering an appealing contrast to her sometimes lyrical descriptions. Her final chapter, listing restaurants, culinary museums and other resources, will prove indispensable to the traveling gourmet. (Nov.)
Library Journal
This is a delightful and very personal book that takes the reader on a culinary journey through the countryside of Brittany, Normany, Burgundy, and Provence. Sigal, a food writer who lived in France for many years, believes that real French country cooking can be contemporary as well as traditional, refined as well as rustic. The recipes she has collected range from a simple Chicken Saut with Garlic (from a Burgundy poultry man) to an elegant Salmon in Brittany Wine Sauce (from a restaurant chef). Along with the recipes she discovered, there are encounters with local purveyors and artisans, crpe makers and olive oil producers, merchants, fishermen, and farmers. Sigal has a nice turn of phrase, and she is knowledgeable about French cuisine; her book is as much fun to read as it is to cook from. Highly recommended.
Alice Joyce
These recipes offer authentic re-creations of French country fare, with Sigal including some elegant renditions that remain distinctly traditional even when a chef has bestowed uniquely personal variations on a theme. Design elements reminiscent of Matisse illustrate this attractive book highlighting the cuisine of four French regions--Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, and Provence. Each classic dish is based upon farm-fresh ingredients or those just surrendered by the sea, from simple repasts to sublimely flavored stews, roasts, salads, and tarts. The author's black-and-white photographs are interspersed, depicting charming French scenes, and Sigal also lists recommended eating establishments that feature excellent regional food.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385424547
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 400

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