The Delights of French Food

‘It is a French recipe of my grandmother’s,’ said Mrs Ramsay, speaking with a ring of great pleasure in her voice. Of course it was French. What passes for cookery in England is an abomination (they agreed). (Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse)

Without a doubt I owe France a huge culinary debt. When I recall my cross-Channel excursions, my memories are more often than not food-related: crispy baguettes, pungent cheeses, flaky buttery croissants, rich earthy cassoulets, gently quivering tarte au citron… I could go on and on.

Not only has the eating of French food caused me great pleasure, but so too has the making of it. I’ve had a great time learning to make baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat and hollandaise sauce at La Cuisine Paris, a cookery school in the heart of Paris by the river and around the corner from the Hotel de Ville – I really need to pay them another visit!   Continue reading “The Delights of French Food”

Life After Life 1: Sole Veronique

‘Who are these boys?’ Sylvie quizzed over Mrs Glover’s surprisingly capricious interpretation of sole Veronique. (September 1923, page 184)

And so my summer cooking challenge begins – see – with one of the recipes I had not come across before: Sole Veronique.   Continue reading “Life After Life 1: Sole Veronique”

Falstaff: The first literary foodie?

A few posts back when I was still on the Middle Ages I wrote about Geoffrey Chaucer’s innovative literary creation of a cook as a storyteller – see here  Now that I’ve moved onto Shakespeare, I wonder if there’s another literary first here: the first foodie in English literature, Sir John Falstaff.  Continue reading “Falstaff: The first literary foodie?”