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Books dealing with French REGIONAL cooking

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

First of all, I want to apologize for starting yet another thread about French cooking as I know there are countless of them already, but these are about introductory books and I'm interested in regional cooking, mainly those cuisines of Gascony, Languedoc, Provence, Bourgogne, Savoie, but not just these. I already have a few of those books that are generally suggested as introductory (Julia Child, Elizabeth David and some more).


These may be books about regional cooking in general or books about cooking in any particular region. I'm sure there will also be many public domain books. It's OK if they're in French.

post #2 of 8
Paula wolfert "the Cooking of Southwest France" is excellent. I have made several recipes and have travelled in these areas, and the recipes and iformation is really excellent. It is in english.

Another one i like is Cookng School Provence, dorleen kindersly publisher.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

The Wolfert book is one of those I have long been seriously considering. I love her latest book - very interesting recipes (probably the most interesting I've ever come across), and nice prose, too. Do you have the revised edition with 150+ added pages or the original one? Can you tell anything about the difference? I mean, is it just a lot of new pictures with little actual new content or is it really worth the extra price (which is almost double)?

post #4 of 8

I've taken that book out of the library and made 1 recipe..it was a cherry pudding with kirsch.  It was ok, not my best result by far. You might have better luck.  


I've only seen 1 version and it is beautiful 

post #5 of 8
You really want to take a look at Elizabeth David's books. There's a pre-suppostion with some of them that you can already cook, though.

Look for people with strong associations to regions, like Roger Verge. His books are wonderful. Again, you want to be pretty good going in.

Madeline Kammins -- out of print, I'm sure -- is great if you can find her.

One of the problems with regional cooking is fresh, quality, regional ingredients. Provencal is all very well and good if you live in California, but pretty tough most other places.

It might be more helpful to organize your search around ideas like "bourgeois" and "impromptu," rather than regional. Also, look at nearby countries. There's a lot of cross-over between Alsatian and German, for instance. The whole northern Med has a lot in common. Spanish, French, Italian, what the heck? So much is alla time same same. Hope you like grilled fish.

Chris Belgium can probably help you with northern France, especially the western part of the country. Belgian food has a lot in common with Normandy -- but better beer in Belgium. Much better beer. Much much better beer. Chris may know about some English books and websites, God knows he's sufficiently bilingual.

Google. You can get lots of regional dish names from simple search terms. For instance you could try "brittany cuisine," "brittany dishes," and "brittany food." Once you've got the names of foods which look good to you, start looking for recipes. The recipes which look best usually are best. The recipes which look best to you, are most likely those you'll like, and those which don't look good you probably won't like. Funny how that works, eh? If you already don't like kidneys, chances are you won't like them just because some joker calls them rognon and serves them in a Calvados reduction [drooling smilie].

Read French? Big help. Once you've got the dish names, just add recette.

Rule of thumb: An obscene amount of butter is always a good sign. If your arteries don't slam shut when you first see the recipe, it's probably not that good.

Bon chance,
post #6 of 8

Elizabeth David's French Regional Cookery and her book on charcutery are good.  Curnonsky's Traditional French Cookery is huge and lots of fun.

post #7 of 8

I forgot - Madelaine Kamman's When French Women Cook is wonderful. It's available on Amazon.

post #8 of 8

Paul Bocuse published a book called Bocuse's Regional French Cooking.  It is out of print, but you can find used copies online.  Bocuse does not include all the regions of France, but several are surveyed.  The cooking is straightforward, without a lot of fuss.  Many, if not most, of the recipes from the book are available on his website, but you would not have his commentary on the cuisine of the various regions included in the book.





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