In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France

Susan Herrmann Loomis. Gotham, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-592-40886-3
U.S. expat Loomis is in an excellent position to observe what truly makes the French cook so compelling and enviable: she has her own cooking school in Louviers, Normandy (On Rue Tatin), and a slew of cookbooks delineating her culinary expertise (Tarte Tatin, etc.). Loomis has enlisted the help of her Normandy neighbors and their larders to ascertain the culinary rules and habits that grant the French the ability to whip up the most scrumptious meal in minutes. She highlights their dedication to freshness, their devotion to shopping frequently, and their love of good bread, wine, sweets, and cheese. “Organized” is the rule in the French kitchen, says Loomis. She also offers 12 “great French techniques” that are executed by memory—and seemingly effortlessly, thanks to many hours of learning under “Mamie,” the adored grandma—such as emulsifying, caramelizing, braising, and reducing sauces and stocks. American readers might be shocked to learn how little the French pack in their refrigerators, how much sugar and bread they consume, and how brilliant they are with les restes (leftovers). Loomis’s recipes accompany each chapter, with actual seasonal menus (March offers a turnip and cream tart, and sautéed cherries in June) aimed at inspiring the dulled American palate. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 06/16/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-59240-965-5
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