"To savor walnuts, you must break them open. Remember that in life, without a little bit of work, there is no pleasure."
Walnuts, today hailed as a healthful addition to modern diets, have long been a staple of classic French cuisine-both in the bistros of Paris and in the quaint countryside inns of the Périgord region. Originally published in France, The Walnut Cookbook pays homage to the simple, fabulous nut with over 100 recipes and a fascinating glimpse of its history and role in the culture of the French countryside. We learn about the les dames denoisillenses (the nut cracking women) of southwestern France and the simple instruments of their profession: a wooden mallet, a straw basket, and a flat stone to place upon their laps, as well as how the "pleasant sound of cracking shells gave rise to the saying, '- No part of the walnut is wasted, not even the sound when it breaks.'"
Author Jean-Luc Touissant highlights the walnut's flexibility, heartiness, and panache with recipes for stylish salads and condiments, hearty entrees, fresh garden vegetables, and chic pastries and confections, and even as a flavorful liqueur.
Highlighted throughout with lovely color photographs, this cookbook fantastique is a small treasure.
Jean-Luc Toussaint is a cook, author, and folklorist who specializes in the customs and history of the Perigord region of southwestern France.
Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden are both professors of English and administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The author and translators are summer neighbors in the village of Castelnaud-la-Chappelle.
The Walnut Cookbook
By Jean-Luc Touissant
Translation by Michael Hinden & Betsy Draine
Ten Speed Press
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created January 1999
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