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When French Women Cook: A Gastronomic Memoir Hardcover


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100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (May 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580083846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580083843
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An excellent book for reading, learning, and a bit of nostalgia. —Christian Science MonitorOn The New Making of a Cook: "This monumental, professional, thorough, and well-researched book is inspiring. Combining French savoir-faire-Cartesian thinking with American ingenuity, enthusiasm, and unconventionality, Madeleine Kamman has produced a remarkable work that will be edifying for any cook but essential for the serious culinary student." —Jacques P?©pin

About the Author

MADELEINE KAMMAN was born in Paris and started her culinary career in 1940 at her aunt’s restaurant in the Touraine region of France. A revered culinary instructor since 1962, Kamman has written two other books: Dinner Against the Clock and The New Making of a Cook.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The saute of wild mushrooms is the best.
Lisa
It's a beautiful page from history that should be read by anyone who loves food and family and a splash or two of good French wine.
S. Spencer
Like the other three notable books in this genre, this is a cookbook which is meant to be read from cover to cover.
B. Marold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on January 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
OK I bought this book on a whim. I'm not sure why I bought it over the other dozens of books on french cooking/lifestyle that I read the reviews about. I suspect it was on someone's list and they made it sound appealing. I have read it (parts of it I have reread). I have cooked many recipes from it. The book is appealing.
First, the recipes are wonderful. The saute of wild mushrooms is the best. The browned veal stock took me alot of research on epicurious.com (reviewing other recipes) to fill in the missing steps. Once I experimented with it, I thought it was excellent. I never appreciated the importance of homemade stock until I read this book. Now I have lots of it ready for defrosting. But the book has more to offer than recipes.
This book is perhaps at its best in that it sheds light on a way of life that has passed or is passing. It provides insight into the very different regions and origins of the people of early twentieth century France. I came away with a new appreciation for the people and their cuisine. A very worthwhile investment.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
`When French Women Cook' by Madeleine Kamman is one of the very best in a genre which may be called culinary anthropology, a genre closely related to the memoir and the survey of local cuisines, but still a bit different. It is more than a memoir in that it provides many useful recipes serving a much greater purpose than simply illustrations of an event or a point, as you find in, for example, Ruth Reichl's excellent memoirs. They are also a bit less than a full survey of a culinary terroir, as you may find in Paula Wolfert's excellent books, in that they tend to deal with the recipes of a specific group of people. The three other leading examples of this little genre are Patience Gray's `Honey from a Stone', Richard Olney's `Lulu's Provencal Kitchen', and Amanda Hesser's `The Gardner and the Cook'.

Madeleine Kamman is an odd duck in the pantheon of English language writers on French cuisine. She is really a cookbook author of the first order, especially with her excellent text `The New Making of a Cook', but she has always been a bit in the shadow of Julia Child, Elizabeth David, and Richard Olney. According to Child's biographer, there was even a substantial amount of rancor towards Child on Kamman's part, after the success of Child's book and TV shows and before Kamman achieved recognition with her original `The Making of a Cook'.

Like the other three notable books in this genre, this is a cookbook which is meant to be read from cover to cover. It's culinary content and its anecdotal introductions to each of the chapters are all great reading. The book tells the story of eight French women cooks, all of whom Mme.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michele (mandmwf@worldnet.att.net) on April 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I first encountered this book through the aisles of my public library. I re-checked it so many times that I had to see if it was still in print. To my happy surprise it was. I love it for the great recipes and the warm and rich memories of a by-gone time; though I did find mention of a place I had travelled to on my honeymoon in 1996--a qaint little town called Annecy, in France. She described her experience much as I had recalled my own happy time there! This book is simply enchanting and everything I've made from it has been a rewarding and deliciously wonderful dining experience. Try the Green Beans Brittany Style or the simple Escarole Salad. Really good!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Spencer on February 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for anyone who has ever wished to learn how to cook at the skirts of a tiny, capable, traditional Grandmother but never got to.
The recipes are complicated, using crazy ingredients and completely not for anyone under the supervision of a cardiologist (every one consumes sticks upon sticks of butter, gobs of heavy cream and is usually wrapped in some sort of pork product.) But the memories are vivid, gorgeous and well worth the trip. I probably won't be roasting a hare anytime soon, or going on a hike to find my own mushrooms, but I love this book. It's a beautiful page from history that should be read by anyone who loves food and family and a splash or two of good French wine.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By saltine on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so beautifully and poetically written that I wanted to go inside each chapter tribute and live each story.

I made the Heavy Cream Brioche, which mixes like a cake mix and bakes in a bundt pan. It was easy and delicious with a cake-like, crispy crust and a rich, tender crumb.

Wonderful cookbook! An absolute joy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bas bleu TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
All the best and very deserved praise for this book has been covered by other reviewers. It is a very usable book even for those relatively new to cooking.
Another really great book on French cooking with great reading is "The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth."
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