Cooking French!

(photo via Food & Wine)

Today I read an excerpt from the book, The Table Comes First by Adam Gopnik, in Food & Wine.

In it, Gopnik described his take as to why the preference of Italian food dominates over French cuisine. His take: Italy represents in the American - or at least New York - mind, a reflection of the easy Old World. Olive trees and cheap red wine, pasta and garlic, tomatoes cooked down - it all feels accessible, whereas French cooking has some evident degree of difficulty about it. The simple acts of French country food - separating eggs, beating egg whites, reducing sauces, making liaisons of a sauce and a thickener..to name a few, are hard, or harder, anyway.

Which sparked a thought for me: how do we all appreciate food when we cook?

I, for instance, feel greatly accomplished rarely making something intricate and detailed. But feel equally gratified in knowing I can whip something up in five minutes or less (which is few and far in between, I'll admit!) But now I have set out to challenge myself: learning to skillfully cook intricate and traditional French recipes! Don't get me wrong, I love Italian cooking! But this could be a fun way to educate myself in cooking challenging cuisine.

Do you guys have any French food classics you live by or have tried out? Or perhaps a foreign cuisine you'd like to know more about? I would love some suggestions! Perhaps I can start with Truffle-Infused French Onion Soup. Yum!

6 comments:

Miss Amy :

I love Italian food #1 because I'm Italian and was raised on it, of course... :) But #2, because it IS simple. The fussing over food is not any fun to me. Kind of like life - there is no reason to complicate life when simplicity ends up making you happiest anyway. Same with food for me - if simple ingredients can taste as amazing as they do, then why stress myself out with souflee or browning the butter? ;) That all said - I DO love French food! As long as I'm not cooking it!! :)

photohogger :

Oh my, French cooking seems so difficult! I'm more of an Italian food chef. Even Indian cooking is hard, but it's really gratifying at the end of the preparation (and if it's a success!) Like Miss Amy says above, no fuss is easier in the kitchen.

Karina Cifuentes :

Ladies, I come from the same school of thought! Why fuss if you can make life easier. At the very least, perhaps this could teach me patience and how to follow instructions better! And good food is an added bonus. :)

And ditto to Italian. Equally delicious. :)

Isobel Masters :

I definitely agree, simple yet incredible. French food is amazing too though. All food is pretty good :)

Wander.Lust :

I enjoy both easy and more complex cooking as you said. It´s really great when you can master a difficult recipe but going back to basics can be so satisfying and tasty!

Ashley :

Loved reading your blog for the first time today. You should watch Julie and Julia. I wanted to get into cooking so much more after that and attempt every recipe under the sun! Good luck, let me know how it goes:)

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