Goose Fat and Garlic

Strang, Jeanne

ISBN: 1 85626 536 6

Publisher: Kyle Cathie Ltd

"Goose Fat and Grlic describes a rustic and vibrant part of France where the temperatures are too extreme for either butter or olive production so the cooks use poultry fat and that gives the cuisine its characteristic flavour and this book its title." as summarised by Richard Flaste of the New York Times. So, while it is provincial, this cookery book is more than a collection of recipes. It carries the genuine love of the South West area of France, its people and their love of simple, wholesome food that Jeanne Strang has developed over 40 years.

Jeanne first went to the South West in the early 60's. There, she discovered the simplicity of the food, which brings out the best from the locally produced ingredients. As she developed her passion for the area, so did her passion for the unique cooking style grow. She was one of early arrivals for England, so she was still accepted as 'un ├ętranger' from England. As she spend more time living in the area, she discovered many ingredients that she had never heard of, less alone cooked with while living in England. Luckily for us, she befriended the locals, who were more than happy to dispense advice on how best prepare and cook her new found ingredients.

The book is divided into twenty different food chapters, along with a chapter on the 'envoi' and glossary, so you know that this book has many recipes for you to discover. Each section has an introduction which is informative without being too full on. Reading other reviews, they all agree the words paint such a vivid picture that photos would only be a distraction. I certainly agree with them, as her writing takes you here, your imagination showing you the dishes, full of flavour and the scent of goose fat and garlic.

While the South West of France may be changing beyond all recognition, the French, with their love of traditional dishes will ensure Jeanne Strang's world will always exist. A beautiful book that doesn't rely on pretty photos; just beautifully written gastronomic journey through the recipes of the South West.