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Regional French Recipes


Adam Balic
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Not a cookbook and the descriptions are brief, but most areas of France seem to get their own little blurb in LaRusse, listing characteristsic dishes, wines and traditions.  For less-famous regions, it strikes me a s good place to start.

Yes, Larousse is a good place to start, and they also have maps of the regions.

Canard a l'aigre-doux I think that this used sour cherries.

This dish is my mission this week because I have tons of duck at the moment.

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Another site doing small regional books of locally collected recipes is Les editions du curieux

You can view several pages of each book on their web site.

Decidedly unregional is "Cuisiner les Coquillages" in Editions Jean Paul Gisserot but I never go to France without it. It is pocket-sized, comprehensive and costs a mere €5. Looking at their site here they also do cheap regional books.

Mick

Mick Hartley

The PArtisan Baker

bethesdabakers

"I can give you more pep than that store bought yeast" - Evolution Mama (don't you make a monkey out of me)

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Les editions du curieux looks like a nice little collection. The utiimate test would be to test their recipes, of course. I particularly like the bank of illustrations on their site by I think the person who does the drawings for the books. The editions seem to cover much of the south and southwest. Very nice. I hope they do continue and expand their coverage to all of France. Thanks, Mick for pointing out these editions.

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Les editions du curieux looks like a nice little collection.  The utiimate test would be to test their recipes, of course.  I particularly like the bank of illustrations on their site by I think the person who does the drawings for the books.  The editions seem to cover much of the south and southwest.  Very nice.  I hope they do continue and expand their coverage to all of France.  Thanks, Mick for pointing out these editions.

Curious that these are the same books that I mentioned in my above post, Lucy under the Editions Subvervie name. Glad to have the website. I might add that the recipes tend to be blissfully basic and easy, ex: the Roti de Porc et Pruneaux is just that-- one pork roast and 500gr of prunes. One might need a little imagination to get to the final product unless you have already eaten it! The recipes in the Lot-et-Garonne book are most often recipes from fermes auberge and reflect the simple homecooking found on most SW farms. The recipe for Gelee de fleurs de pissenlit or dandelion jelly is worth the price alone!

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Sometimes when you plan to cook a specific dish, on a certain day, that is exactly when you will not be able to find a key ingredient. Today it was chestnuts. A week ago I swear there were chestnuts in every shop, vendors were selling them on the street and people were getting drunk on chestnut wine. Oh, well one has to press on.

After reading a little about the food of the Limousin, a few words started to repeat themselves; "hearty, rustic and peasant" seemed to be the most common.

Tonights meal most definately fitted into this theme.

Roast pork shoulder, braised red cabbage with "chestnuts", farcidure. The latter two dishes are traditional to the area, the pork is somthing I felt like.

The pork shoulder was just simply roasted for 3 hours at 150.C.

The cabbage is similar, but quite different other such dishes I have made in the past. Onions are cooked in lard until soft and golden, bacon and celery is added and cooked until soft. The cabbage is then added along with red wine and thyme and a touch of sugar. Most other red cabbage dishes I have made like this contain some sort of spice and a stronger acid like red wine vinegar.

The Farcidure (which means 'firm stuffing') are wholewheat bread pancakes with bacon. Bread cubes are softened in milk, then flavoured with parsley and bacon, mixed with creme fraiche and eggs. Bacon lardons are cooked then a spoonful of the batter is placed on the lardons and they are cooked until done. This would have been a meal in itself originally.

gallery_1643_978_152344.jpg

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Looks delicious, Adam. Actually, from what I am learning about the traditional cooking of the Limousin, pork is the only meat that the people traditionally had all the time. When we think of the Limousin beef, a beef of superior quality and taste known all over France, we must remember that for the local country folk this was a rare luxury. When they did have meat, they were more likely to have pork more than anything else, and we'll see that many of the traditional country dishes from the Limousin use pork in one form or another. For an accompaniment to a rustic country dish like farcidure, it looks like you made a good instincitve choice there!

There seem to be a lot of recipes for the farcidure using potatoes and unsmoked (salted) pork belly. I have posted one of such recipes in the RecipeGullet, Here. Can you post your recipe using the bread as well? The common local bread types were made from rye or buckwheat flour, or a mix of both. Is is safe to assume that the bread version predates the common use of potatoes in France? No, I think it's never safe to assume anything. I guess we'll have to find out for sure.

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Yes, the recipe I have for farcidure mentions that there are many variations.

Regarding beef, the breed has been around for some time in one form or another, but I imagine that they were often used as draft animals and that as is ever the case peasants would rarely have access to the meat in any case.

A pig is more egalitarian and useful.

I have a bottle of sour cherries, so I shall try to cook the duck dish later in the week.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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I have decided, after my brief education, on another duck dish I think is just the perfect embodiment of the Limousin region - provided I can find the right kind of duck:

Crepinettes au jus de colvert. Recipe in the Gullet

I have to get this duck tomorrow, so I plan to do the dish tomorrow.

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Yes, the recipe I have for farcidure mentions that there are many variations.

Regarding beef, the breed has been around for some time in one form or another, but I imagine that they were often used as draft animals and that as is ever the case peasants would rarely have access to the meat in any case.

A pig is more egalitarian and useful.

I have a bottle of sour cherries, so I shall try to cook the duck dish later in the week.

Adam, Here, like in the Limousin, cattle were the tractors of the day. The barn behind my kitchen has a dozen sturdy stalls for the working girls that tilled the heavy clay soil of the Garonne River valley. Even today, my neighbors who raise 40 Blondes of Aquitaine-- beef cattle, do so as a 'cash crop'. Family meals are from the basse-cours- the barnyard; they eat chicken, pintade, rabbit, and of course, that egalitarian pig. This is the pig time of year; The Fete de St. Porc, Le Prince de Janvier.

Tomorrow we are celebrating the feast of St. Antoine Abate who blessed the barnyard critters. Judy Witts in Tuscany and I have been running a Some Pig event at our Going Whole Hog site. Nice to see the attention we give to that good pig. That pork and cabbage are a world wide marriage it seems! The ends of bacon or ham flavoring the farce are a perfect way to use those little salty bits.

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