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French Farmhouse Cookbook Hardcover – January 9, 1996

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The food in the French Farmhouse Cookbook is a reminder of how deeply the soul of French cooking is rooted in the fruits of the soil and sea. For three years, Susan Herrmann Loomis traveled the coasts and visited rural farms in all corners of France. She discovered more than treasured recipes for the quintessentially French dishes that appear in this book. She also met people passionate about the foodstuffs they raise, gather, catch, or produce. Their stories make this book a living tapestry of individuals and the food they cook. Many dishes, while utterly French, fit well into today's preferences for sensible good eating. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Ethnic Home Cooking The 250 lusty recipes of home cooks offered in French Farmhouse Cookbook were gathered by Susan Herrmann Loomis (Farmhouse Cookbook) during her three-year stint among the farmers, cheesemakers and vintners of the French countryside. Included are an assortment of tapenades; Jacqueline Priaulet's Daube, with orange zest, red wine, bacon and fennel seeds; Basque Chicken, with caramelized onions and garlic and a range of dessert tarts. Remember the scene in GoodFellas when Catherine Scorsese fixes pasta for Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta after they'd committed bloody murder? Now director Martin Scorsese's Mama (aided by Georgia Downard) shares her culinary skills in Italianamerican: The Scorsese Family Cookbook, a collection of family recipes for dishes (Veal Spiedini; Macaroni with Lamb and Veal in White Sauce; Sicilian Cake) gathered from her mother and her mother-in-law. Accompanying the recipes are photos and anecdotes covering three generations of Scorseses, moving from Sicily to New York's Little Italy.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 541 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (January 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761106243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761106241
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


I am a France-based, award-winning author with nine books to my credit, as well as a professionally trained chef and cooking school proprietor. Originally from Seattle, Washington, I moved to France in the early 1980's to study cooking, stayed on to open a restaurant, and then to work with Patricia on her first book, THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO PAIRS. I returned to live in France again in 1993, and opened my cooking school in 2001.
Included among my books are THE GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOKBOOK, FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, CLAMBAKES AND FISH FRIES, FRENCH FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, ITALIAN FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, (all Workman Publishing, Inc.) and ON RUE TATIN (Broadway Books. 2001) a narrative about my life in France, with recipes, which won the IACP best literary food book for 2002. It was followed by a sequel, TARTE TATIN (Harper Collins UK, 2003), by COOKING AT HOME ON RUE TATIN, (William Morrow, May 2005)and most recently by NUTS IN THE KITCHEN (William Morrow 2010).
I contribute to many newspapers and magazines including COOKING LIGHT, METROPOLITAN HOME, THE NEW YORK TIMES, GOURMET, and BON APPETIT, and have appeared on Good Morning America (ABC), Home Matters, Epicurious/Discovery, The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper" (MPR); "Food Talk with Arthur Schwartz" (WOR); and "Good Food Hour with Evan Kleinman" (KSRO);
My cooking school in Louviers, Normandy and in Paris is a cultural and hands-on culinary program. Participants spend five delicious days cooking and enjoying the meals we've made together, along with wines from throughout France, visiting local markets and artisan food producers, and getting an in-depth look at and feeling for all that is wonderful about France. My cooking classes in Paris will be similar, with hands-on classes in Patricia's gorgeous kitchen, visits to producers, and an insider's look at Paris and its gastronomy. I am also a founding member of a website devoted to making mealtimes manageable and delicious!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The French Farmhouse Cookbook' is not a book which should be bought if all you want is recipes. This is especially true if you have two or more books of French recipes by, for example, Julia Child, Richard Olney, or Patricia Wells. This is not to say these recipes are not good. They are very good. It's just that a mere mortal needs so many recipes for green salads, roasted chickens, pistu soup, and poached fish with aioli. One fact that keeps down excessive redundancy is the fact that unlike the three luminaries mentioned above, Ms. Loomis is based in Normandy rather than in Provence. Therefore, butter will be the star of many dishes rather than olive oil.
The primary charm and value of the book is in the stories surrounding how the author, Susan Herrmann Loomis acquired the recipes and her background on the French farms. As the ever-present blurb from Alice Waters says, this is a cookbook `that expresses accurately the milieu of its recipes'. If you need any additional blessing on the book's authenticity, see the sincerely written Foreword by Patricia Wells.
The book is divided by the origin of the produce and the occasions for eating in the life of a French farm family. The first chapter of recipes gives the French take on the meze tradition. Since the whole of the Mediterranean world from Spain to Turkey takes a mid-afternoon break with tapas or Mezes or what have you, why should we expect the queen of Mediterranean cuisine to be any different (I reserve the role of king for the Italians). In this chapter, we see that chestnuts are not exclusively a northern Italian specialty. Gascony, among other provinces also claims chestnuts as an important food. My most interesting discovery is a recipe for anchoiade, a Provencal spread akin to tapenade made from anchovies. Yum.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Wickes on April 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I received this cookbook at my Bridal Shower. I had never heard of the author before, but began to read the cookbook as a book. I was most impressed by the contents.
Each recipe gives us a short story to where the recipe originated...location in France, and the family that makes it.
I enjoyed the cookbook immensely as the author lives in France, yet is American, so she can explain how to replace those ingredients that we don't have here in the United States.
Later, I began cooking from the book. Let me tell you, I was getting raving reviews from my fellow co-workers and since, the baby group I joined.
I would recommned this book. Her recipes are easy to read and not complicated at all. Plus, it gives you the feeling that you are somewhere else...far away from your a more simpler time...the French Countryside!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I'd always fancied myself a good cook, I could never make a pie/tart crust,(the dough would tear as I rolled it out, among other frustrations), until this book. Armed with a food processor and this great book, it's a snap.
Having said that, it should be noted the recipes are easy, and a senual delight. Moreover, Ms. Loomis gives one a cultural taste of rural France, which is provocative.
Check out her Italian Farmhouse Cookbook as well. It is luscious.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Violette on January 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply one of the best recipe books for rural French cooking. The recipes are not terribly difficult, but they do presuppose that you already know basic cooking techniques. For instance, I just recently made the Roast Chicken with Tarragon, and the instructions say to trusse and roast it until its golden brown. While this is not difficult, it does assume you know how to trusse a chicken for roasting.

I have made so many recipes in this cookbook, especially for side dishes. Some of my favorites are Cauliflower and Cream, Green Beans with Onions, and Green Beens with Walnuts.

Like other reviewers, I appreciate the author's anecdotes and sidebars.

I would recommend Julia Child's The Way to Cook as a good companion to this book. It teaches many of the techniques that are needed to successfully execute some of these recipes.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I served for two years in southwestern France as a Mormon missionary. When I came home to Calgary, Alberta I pined for the simple, fresh, unpretentious food I'd grown used to eating in rural France. Luckily the French Farmhouse Cookbook was first published about four months before I got home, and when I stumbled on it by accident in a bookshop I was overjoyed.

Not only are the recipes authentic and accessible, but the stories Ms. Loomis tells about how food is raised and grown -- how seriously the farmers and growers view their work -- ring absolutely true to my experience living in France. I've never found another North American book so true to real French family food.

Especially useful are recipes for small things that one can take for granted at any supermarket in France -- creme fraiche, sucre vanille, quatre epices, etc. -- but that are hard come by in most US or Canadian stores. You can substitute other ingredients (sour cream for creme fraiche) but it's not quite the same; the effort the author took to include everything needed to reproduce the authentic experience is another reason this is my favorite French cookbook. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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