Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review- Breakfast in Burgundy: A Hungry Irishman in the Belly of France by Raymond Blake


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.


And now off to Burgundy, France!


Breakfast in Burgundy cover


Synopsis:

Laced with compelling writing about French food and its ways, Breakfast in Burgundy is part travel memoir, part foodie detective story, part love song to Raymond’s adopted home. This book tells the story of the Blakes’ decision to buy a house in Burgundy. Raymond describes the moments of despair—such as the water leak that cost a fortune—and the fantastic times too.

Blake has admitted to being “fascinated by flavor and how it is created.” Breakfast in Burgundy contains tales from the kitchen, and the answer to the question that begins each day, “What’s for dinner?” will be given ample coverage. The hunt for the bestjambon persillé will be related in detail. The same diligence is applied to the search for the best comté cheese, for there’s comté and there’s comté—once nibbled, never forgotten.

Yet to be perfected by Blake is Chicken Gaston Gérard, said to have been first cooked in Dijon in 1930 for the celebrated gourmet Curnonsky by the mayor’s wife. A neighboring winemaker’s wife prepared it for Blake, as he watched over her shoulder. Breakfast in Burgundy documents these results and more.

Included are tips on how best to prepare, cook, and serve the various goodies, as well as the story behind the wines—some of the most sought after in the world—that complement the foods, telling of people and place, who made the wine and where it is from, without recourse to tedious technical detail or dry-as-tinder tasting notes.



Review:

Having read quite a few French mysteries (translated), set in the Burgundy region lately, reading this book felt like a step back into those books, but at a side angle! Instead of all the wine talk, the talk wanders to food, how it is made and served. Blake has the 'Irish gift of gab' and you find yourself laughing along with him at how he suddenly came to own a home in France. The subtitle of the book:  A Hungry Irishman in the Belly of France, pretty much tells the nature of the book. Part memoir, part food manual, part wine treasure hunt, part tale of seizing the dream, it is an interesting tale, that will bring to mind Peter Mayle's tales of France, and leave the reader will a thirst for great wine, great food and a trip to France. It is perfect for reading by the fire this Fall season! 


About the Author:

Raymond Blake is a writer and the wine editor of Food & Wine magazine in Ireland. He is the author of In Black and White: A History of Rowing at Trinity College Dublin. This is his first book that taps into his abiding love of France.

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