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When French Women Cook: A Gastronomic Memoir Paperback – 15 Sep 2010
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An excellent book for reading, learning, and a bit of nostalgia. --Christian Science MonitorOn The New Making of a Cook: "This monumental, professional, thorough, and well-researched book is inspiring. Combining French savoir-faire-Cartesian thinking with American ingenuity, enthusiasm, and unconventionality, Madeleine Kamman has produced a remarkable work that will be edifying for any cook but essential for the serious culinary student." --Jacques Pépin
About the Author
French-born MADELEINE KAMMAN began introducing Americans to her native cuisine when she moved to the United States in 1960. Her restaurant, Chez la Mere Madeleine, was renowned as one of the country's finest. In the mid-1980s, she hosted the PBS show Madeleine Cooks, and later founded the School for American Chefs. A James Beard Award-winning author, Madeleine continues to be an active mentor in the culinary arts.
Top customer reviews
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The book is very well written, and a joy to read and be informed from, even without the pictures it is easy to follow.
You get some very interesting old recipes for bread that you will not see anywhere else. And the recipes Great Grand Mothers of France made the food last even in the terrible times when food was scarce and it has already inspired me to go into nature and gather what is free, like they did in the old times.
I would love to get a hard back book with the bigger lettering, and pics, but I am pleased I could get the paperback.
Started with the Brown Veal Stock prepared as per her instructions - wonderful
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is a person with deep memories of World War II and the changes in France, such as the rural backwater of Brittany, eventually was connected to Paris via the high speed train, and soon lost much of the handcrafted, natural foods that made this region so unique. This book covers these regions, including the Savoie, the French Alps--a region usually visited only by skiers and which has its own cuisine and foods. Each chapter is a region, with a memory of a woman who cooked there, someone close to Kamman. I loved the story of Eugenie in Alsace, where Kamman tracks down a family legend, Aunt Alwine. I lived near Alsace, and the distinctive and magnificent cuisine was something we explored with constant delight. So I have a good recipe here for "Flammkuche" (a kind of onion pizza), Lentil Soup with Bratwurst and Spaetzle. I have a lot of Badische (German) cookbooks with the same, but Kamman's versions are written up with such detail and commentary that they succeed.
Her writing and memoirs about these women and her life in various areas of France is as poignant as the writing of M. F. K. Fisher. Her cooking technique is of the highest caliber. This is one of my treasured books, and I replaced the copy I had lost over the years, when we moved back to the US. If you are interested in French cuisine, I highly recommend you read this. I don't think you will be disappointed. As for me, I read and re-read this simply for the essays. Let alone the recipes, everything from brioche to coquilles St. Jacques.
The recipes are complicated, using crazy ingredients and completely not for anyone under the supervision of a cardiologist (every one consumes sticks upon sticks of butter, gobs of heavy cream and is usually wrapped in some sort of pork product.) But the memories are vivid, gorgeous and well worth the trip. I probably won't be roasting a hare anytime soon, or going on a hike to find my own mushrooms, but I love this book. It's a beautiful page from history that should be read by anyone who loves food and family and a splash or two of good French wine.