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Customer Review

19 of 170 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste of good trees, 4 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Ripailles: Traditional French Cuisine (Hardcover)
As this book seemed to be highly rated by just about everyone on here I took that as a good sign and got myself a copy.

At first I was amazed with the stylish and visually captivating cover and presentation but at a deeper observation I had to flick through several pages of pointless illustrations, photographs and doodles to actually find a recipe in fact the book would probably be about half the size if they cut out all this rubbish and stuck to the recipes.

When I did find any recipes I was appalled to find sections dedicated to Foie Gras (the very existence of this 'food' makes my hair curl), but also recipes for Calf cheeks(?), and Marrow (not the vegetable variety). I would not have been surprised if there had been a section on how to cook dog or horse. My girlfriend is a vegetarian (although she does eat fish) and within this book I could find only a handful of recipes that I could have made for her.

This is not a book for someone who wants to pop to the local supermarket and make something right out of the book as without a proper butcher or specialist farm shop, the recipes in this book will simply be impossible.

Basically, if you like wasting trees, killing animals, eating any meat you can get you mouth round or know a good farmer / butcher / delicatessen and have no morals about what you eat then this is the book for you!
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jan 2010 16:36:30 GMT
Grassmarket says:
Anyone who's ever simply spoken to a French person, let alone been to France, would know that vegetarianism is an alien concept to them. The whole point of French food is to find that the delicious thing you've just eaten is something unmentionable in polite Anglo Saxon company. I think what you want is a book by Nigel Slater (plenty of veg/pasta, skip over the occasional sliver of offal), or even Anthony Demetre (Today's Special) for French bistro food that's more PC. As for the non-recipe pages that seem (sadly) pointless to you, it's the same as the difference between a 70s prog rock concept album (vinyl of course, with all the arty inserts) and the soulless downloading of tracks to an iPod that seems to satisfy most people today. Sorry you didn't like it.

Posted on 7 Jan 2010 16:44:06 GMT
Mr. J. Crook says:
What a ridiculous review.

Your first attack on the amount of illustrations and the "green" aspect is laughable. Why do you buy a book in the first place, why not simply purchase an e-book? Hypocrisy in its most blatant form.

Secondly, whilst I can see your point on foie gra, what exactly is your problem with calf cheeks? The bacon you had for breakfast cam from a pig, the steak you had came from a cow, newsflash, these animals were slaughtered for your meal, so what exactly is your point in using other parts of the animal for food too? Surely this means that theres less the way your vegetarian girlfriend who eats fish is not a vegetarian.

"This is not a book for someone who wants to pop to the local supermarket and make something right out of the book", well, I'm not sure where you shop but there are numerous recipes throughout this book where the ingredients can all be purchased from your local supermarket. You can also (shock/horror) adapt other recipes to suit what is available to you.

"If you like wasting trees", I'd suggest ordering e-books in the future.
"killing animals", as a meat already do

This book is a fantastic cookery book, the best I have (and I have almost 100) but its also more than that, its an illustrated, humerous and informative book on French culture. Its superb. If your food curiosity expands further than a pot noodle or fish and chips (unlike A J Duckett) do not hesitate in adding it to your cookery library.

Posted on 23 Jan 2010 13:33:59 GMT
T. Kesl says:
suggest beans on toast

Posted on 1 May 2010 09:23:54 BDT
I suspect a little understanding the concept of French cookery would have been wise here and possibly a passion to create something special. It always has been about getting the best flavour out of the available ingredients and not leaving anything out. It is the modern form of sanitised home cooking which has insulated us from the delights of offal, cheek and the more unusual cuts of an animal. I have to say though please speak to your girlfiend and expalin the concept of vegetarianism, fish need killing too before they arrive in your supermarket - though please try a proper fishmonger a couple of times and talk to the person behind the counter. They can be a wealth of information without even buying a terribly environmentally unfriendly book!!

Posted on 21 May 2010 14:02:21 BDT
Ellen James says:
What did you expect from a French cookery book? Yes, they eat fois gras and many more cuts of meat we no longer eat in the UK; no, they don't do vegetarian (just as your waiter next time you're in France); and wow, the photographs and illustrations that you say yourself are visually captivating are just a small part of the concept of this cookbook.

Rather than expand your horizons you seem to be proudly blinkered to the fact that different cultures embrace different cuisines, that may not be entirely palatable to us.

I fail to understand why you think your opinion is of any interest to other readers. If you've going to read something new, expect something different. The world would be sorry place if we were all the same, or shared the same outlook.

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 00:32:35 BDT
Lucia says:
What a pompous and misguided review!
The person has either never heard of French cuisine or if they did, they probably only heard of cheese and wine.
I can also imagine that the person is one of the recent generations brought up on skinless chicken breasts and has never seen giblets or a full animal the meat comes from in their life. I would like to point that all of the best chefs promote the motto to 'use all animal' and things like marrow bone or duck livers are delicacies.
However, there are plenty of vegetarian books or seafood books (hello, Rick Stein) so I would suggest those instead of writing ridiculous reviews about topic so alien to the reviewer, by which I mean French cuisine and any other authentic cuisine for that matter.

Posted on 24 Jul 2010 19:14:20 BDT
Andy S says:
Are you deluded?

Do you not know what the French eat/cook? Even a ignoramus could guess with snails and frogs legs or did you think this was purely a joke?

Your last sentence shows how shallow, un-informed and really how uneducated you are. To attack of book of this quality because it does not fit into you happy jumping bunny lifestyle is a joke.

Can I suggest you buy another rabbit before we make it into pate?

Posted on 28 Aug 2010 17:47:00 BDT
realitycheck says:
We have just bought this book today, well my husband has. He has been reading some of the recipes. I think it's true to say the French don't "waste" anything, but I really can't see me eating hardly anything from its pages. Not only that but whilst the photos are lovely, the recipes don't always match the dishes. Farmhouse vegetable soup is a case in point, the photo shows peas, courgettes and other ingredients, they are nowhere to be found in the recipe. It's definitely a horses for courses book. I suspect that for most English palates, there are a lot of things that won't appeal and for those who don't mind stuffed duck's neck or gizzard soup, the ingredients are going to be very tricky to source. Not for me I'm afraid, but for those who are willing to eat any part of an animal this book will be right up their alley.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2010 13:39:59 GMT
K. Marsh says:
Just what I was thinking but was not literate enough to write! Well done and well said. Vive la France!

Posted on 25 Nov 2010 06:17:05 GMT
AJ Duckett doesn't seem to have realised this is a FRENCH cookbook. If he'd ever been to France, or eaten in a French restaurant he'd know a/ they have no time for vegetarians, and b/ their ingredient list goes beyond fish and chips. Is it too obvious to point out that nose-to-tail eating (ie using all of an animal, as is done in most of the world) is a lot more sustainable than just selecting the 'choice' cuts of an animal and using the rest for pet food?
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