cover image Black Forest Cuisine: The Classic Blending of European Flavors

Black Forest Cuisine: The Classic Blending of European Flavors

Walter Staib, . . Running Press, $35 (328pp) ISBN 978-0-7624-2135-0

For the uninitiated, this collection of recipes makes an apt introduction to the cuisine of southwest Germany. Inflected with French, Swiss and Italian traditions, Black Forest cookery goes beyond the sauerkrauts, wursts and späetzles we associate with German food—though there's plenty of that here, too. In his introduction, the chef/owner of Philadelphia's historic City Tavern reveals that there are many similarities between the postwar eating habits of his native Black Forest and the 18th-century American dishes he now serves on a nightly basis (Germans began settling Pennsylvania around that time, Staib explains). Both emphasize fresh, local ingredients and hand-butchered meats. The book is divided not by courses but by styles of cooking associated with specific dining locations, be it a cafe, a gasthaus (a guesthouse that serves tavernlike food), a fashionable hotel or at your own table. Throughout, Staib shows equal affection for humble fare like Stuffed Tomatoes (filled with bologna and Swiss cheese) and his more sophisticated dishes, like Paupiettes of Brook Trout topped with salmon roe. Readers will come away with a taste of the indigenous foodstuffs of the region, from the asparagus in Smoked Trout Salad to the mirabelle plums in the Clafouti Tart. (Nov.)