The Art of Cuisine

I will be trying some of the vegetarian recipes periodically, and so cannot comment on the quality of the food in this cookbook (I’m a bit short on funds and cooking is expensive).   Mostly this is just interesting, and a good read, for what people ate and how (that is, with upwards of 5 pounds of butter per dish).  The variety of food is amazing, as are the descriptions and quantities.  And the illustrations, of course.

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Here is an excerpt from my favourite recipe, ‘Stewed Marmots (Civent de Marmottes)’:

“Having killed some marmots sunning themselves belly up in the sun with their noses in the air one sunrise in September, skin them and carefully put aside the mass of fat which is excellent for rubbing into the bellies of pregnant women, into the knees, ankles, and painful joints of sprains, and into leather shoes.
Cut up the marmot and treat it like stewed hare which has a perfume that is unique and wild.”

That’s it, that’s the whole recipe.  For every fifteen normal recipes, there is one or two like this, which makes reading the whole book worthwhile even if you would not normally read (or skim) an cookbook cover to cover.

8/10

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