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Old 11-16-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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My go-to is usually the Joy of Cooking. But, I also use BH&Gardens, Betty Crocker, and other ones when I start researching the basic recipe for something. And, the Internet is also a great resource.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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THis may be a dumb question.....but nobody better say so, lol (j/k)


What distinguishes "french" cooking?
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusnikki View Post
What distinguishes "french" cooking?
Avvogance?

No offence intended, my dear French friends. Allez les bleus!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:01 AM   #14
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Betty crocker since I was a kid but now the internet.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca Lazzari View Post
Avvogance?

No offence intended, my dear French friends. Allez les bleus!
LOL
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusnikki View Post
THis may be a dumb question.....but nobody better say so, lol (j/k)


What distinguishes "french" cooking?
No, it's an interesting question and one that can easily start a lively debate, one of which has been running over in the Ethnic Recipes forum. But I'll assume the question is in reference to what's in Julia Child's classic book. You have to remember that when the book came out, the techniques and many of the raw materials common in classic French cooking were largely unknown in the US, outside of some elite restaurants. And I think you have to consider that it's not that "French cooking" has much that could only be done in France but that the French were doing these things when other were not. But one of the things that Julia had to consider was that Americans didn't have the tradition of plentiful local markets and specialty butchers, greengrocers, etc. for the cook to call upon. She had to work out how to do what was possible from an American grocery store, something that did not exist in France.

Much of what makes the topic of the book "French cooking" is the detailed instructions and specific techniques. This includes many sauces that, while not absolutely unique to France, were very distinct, standardized, and well-defined. Construction of many of these sauces required techniques unfamiliar to American home cooks.

So, yours is not an easy question to answer, because it can be answered so many ways. I think part of why French cuisine was considered distinct and special is that, so far as Europe was concerned, the essential idea of there being a cuisine associated with a nation more or less began in France. Prior to the 17th century, western cooking was largely a matter of choosing between spit roasting or boiling, and that produced a pretty limited range of final products. Desired variety was provided by variations on heavy sauces and choice of fruits that were, at that time, frequently part of a meat dish. But by the end of the 17th century, we see the first true cookbooks in France and the evolution of lighter dishes and new techniques. So began the tradition of evolved cooking emanating from France. But it's well to remember, too, that the spark really came from Italy when Catherine de Medicci moved in a the new queen of France and brought her Italian cooks along.

Much has changed since Julia wrote. Americans home cooks are far more adventurous and less meat and potatoes. She, of course, was responsible for a lot of making Americans aware of what they could do in the kitchen. Just like anywhere, including the US, there are distinct French regional styles, but the "French cooking" that we used to view as more elaborate and intricate is now practiced more widely and has lost some of it's special association with France. But the part of "French cooking" that has always meant ingredients of the utmost freshness, very preferably locally produced, is only now beginning to spread in the US.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GLC View Post
No, it's an interesting question and one that can easily start a lively debate, one of which has been running over in the Ethnic Recipes forum. But I'll assume the question is in reference to what's in Julia Child's classic book. You have to remember that when the book came out, the techniques and many of the raw materials common in classic French cooking were largely unknown in the US, outside of some elite restaurants. And I think you have to consider that it's not that "French cooking" has much that could only be done in France but that the French were doing these things when other were not. But one of the things that Julia had to consider was that Americans didn't have the tradition of plentiful local markets and specialty butchers, greengrocers, etc. for the cook to call upon. She had to work out how to do what was possible from an American grocery store, something that did not exist in France.

Much of what makes the topic of the book "French cooking" is the detailed instructions and specific techniques. This includes many sauces that, while not absolutely unique to France, were very distinct, standardized, and well-defined. Construction of many of these sauces required techniques unfamiliar to American home cooks.

So, yours is not an easy question to answer, because it can be answered so many ways. I think part of why French cuisine was considered distinct and special is that, so far as Europe was concerned, the essential idea of there being a cuisine associated with a nation more or less began in France. Prior to the 17th century, western cooking was largely a matter of choosing between spit roasting or boiling, and that produced a pretty limited range of final products. Desired variety was provided by variations on heavy sauces and choice of fruits that were, at that time, frequently part of a meat dish. But by the end of the 17th century, we see the first true cookbooks in France and the evolution of lighter dishes and new techniques. So began the tradition of evolved cooking emanating from France. But it's well to remember, too, that the spark really came from Italy when Catherine de Medicci moved in a the new queen of France and brought her Italian cooks along.

Much has changed since Julia wrote. Americans home cooks are far more adventurous and less meat and potatoes. She, of course, was responsible for a lot of making Americans aware of what they could do in the kitchen. Just like anywhere, including the US, there are distinct French regional styles, but the "French cooking" that we used to view as more elaborate and intricate is now practiced more widely and has lost some of it's special association with France. But the part of "French cooking" that has always meant ingredients of the utmost freshness, very preferably locally produced, is only now beginning to spread in the US.
Thanks GLC,

I often the the term "French cooking" and wondered about it but not enough to really pick up a cookbook lol. When I think of French cooking my mind quickly goes to escargot (which is a turn off).. I know that's not all it's about, lol, it's just a mind thing I guess. But thanks for taking the time to elaborate.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #18
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"Around My French Table" is a book with very simple, flavorful recipes. My fabulous MIL once told me that if you get one or two good recipes out of a cookbook, you are lucky. I have made many of these, and they are pretty much no-fail, and worth repeating.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca Lazzari View Post
Avvogance?

No offence intended, my dear French friends. Allez les bleus!
NOT Funny.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusnikki View Post
THis may be a dumb question.....but nobody better say so, lol (j/k)


What distinguishes "french" cooking?
Nikki, if you REALLY are asking that question, it will take a lot longer than a post in this thread.

I'd suggest a good book (NOT a cookbook) about the food of France: either 1. Waverly Root's "The Food of France," or 2. Richard Olney's "Simple French Food."
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