Madeleine Kamman's Savoie: The Land, People and Food of the French Alps

Madeleine Kamman's Savoie: The Land, People and Food of the French Alps is a French cookbook that provides 240 recipes from a region of country villages and farms. Explore recipes that showcases breads, cheeses, and more foods that are famous in the Savoie region. 


Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 432 pages. 

Copyright: 1989 

Publisher: Atheneum 

Author: Madeleine Kamman 

ISBN: 9780689119699

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Description: Ever since her first visit there at the age of seven, Madeleine Kamman has had a special love for the Savoie, located in the westernmost part of the Alps and known as the Cloudland of France. A region governed by the limits of terrain and the harsh dictates of climate, the Savoie represents a severe but giving way of life, with a strong tradition of community and the bounty of hard work -- fresh butter and cream, all manner of cheese, and hams, beef, venison, and, at one time, chamois and ibex hanging smoked or dried from farmhouse rafters.

In this revelatory and loving volume, Madeleine takes us to the country villages and farms where these foods and many others are still produced by time-honored methods. First, she describes the Savoie's history (a long and embattled one; it was held variously by the Celts, Romans, Burgundians, Franks, Saracens, the kingdom of Piemonte-Sardinia, and France), then continues with its geography and people, including their customs and traditions. 

Within this framework, the author presents the wines and foods of the Savoie, most especially the dishes of the Savoie farmer. She begins with a description of breads and cheeses, recalling the days of the communal bread oven and the special family stamps that were used to distinguish one loaf from another. She provides recipes for all the traditional breads, including the epogne, or flat bread, and its many variations, and the coarse-grained gros pain. Madeleine's discussion of cheese making includes recipes for Tarte de Pacl'ons au Beaufort (Baked Dumplings with Beaufort Cream) and Ramequins au Frontage Blanc Sauce Champignons (White Cheese Ramekins with Mushroom Sauce), in addition to a survey of the cheeses of the region. Madeleine Kamman goes on to match the rich offerings of the Savoie imagination and deft manipulation of ingredients.

Kamman includes 240 recipes that cover the entire range of soups, grains, pastas, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, game, and desserts. Among those included are Truite Braisee au Vin de Noix (Braised Trout in Walnut Sauce), Potage au Pots Gourmands et aux Chanterelles (Snow Pea and Chanterelle Soup), and Cailles Grillees au Poivre et a L'Anis (Grilled Quail with Pepper and Anise), and the traditional Sunday pot-au-feu. In addition, there are numerous recipes for the specialties and staples of the Savoie -- gratins, matafans (rustic semipancakes, semicrepes prepared to mater la faim, or kill hunger), and farcements, farcis, and farcons (potato or meat and vegetable puddings either baked in a hot-water bath or prepared in a manner similar to that of haggis). 

Finally, she presents the desserts. In a landscape green with apricot, plum, peach, pear, apple, and walnut trees, the people of the Savoie have perfected a mouth-watering repertoire of fruit desserts -- compotes, tarts, confitures, and ice creams. In addition, there are such creations as he Pain d'Epices des Apiculteurs (Beekeeper's Spice Cake) and Pudding de Riz au Safran (Saffron Rice Pudding), and an intoxicating array of homemade fruit wines and liqueurs. In Madeleine Kamman's Savoie, the author brings to light a cuisine and a people previously little known, in the way only Madeleine can. This book is, indeed, as much a love letter as it is a fascinating and tempting cookbook. 


Condition: Good condition. 

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