Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pork & Sons: a superb cookbook and tribute to the noble pig

For Christmas my wife granted me a copy of Pork & Sons by Stephane Reynaud, a third generation "pork devotee" and butcher/charcutier. If you haven't heard about this book, it is a whimsical French cookbook that also documents the fascinating world of artisanal hog farming, butchering, and charcuterie in France through words and photography. First published in French in 2005, it has been available in English since 2007.

Aside from containing some truly authentic recipes for rural French food (each of which contains pork in some form, of course), this book reinforces the notion that eating meat in an ethical, sustainable fashion does, in fact, assert and celebrate the inherent dignity of animals raised for food. It also exposes, in a succinct and beatiful fashion, the quiet reverence French farmers, butchers, and charcutiers have for the animals they raise, process, and eat. Something most Americans have either forgotten or never known.

"It is fortunate that the standardization of flavor in today's food industry has not yet reached the Ardeche region, where tradition mounts a good defense."

So far I have only cooked one recipe from the book, a delicious take on cabbage soup, but I am anxious to try many more. I'll post the cabbage soup recipe this week, as further proof that you should own this book.

1 comment:

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