Book Review: Hot Sun, Cool Shadow- Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc

The Languedoc is a region in the south of France with a rich gastronomical history. Perhaps this is not surprising, though, when you consider the proximity to Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean, and the wars that were fought there whenever the religion of the day swapped.¬†Hot Sun, Cool Shadow- Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc looks to tie some of these ideas together, considering the food, the food’s origins, and how the Languedoc developed. The author and her husband moved to the region after having spent several summers there, and discovering the local towns, markets, and restaurants. Each chapter is based around one or two local dishes, like cassoulet or duck confit, using the food as a springboard to discuss a certain area of the region, or cooking tradition, and one or two recipes are provided at the end of each chapter, should you wish to try to create the experience for yourself. Since the region has contributed a lot to French cuisine, there are plenty of things to talk about.

Hot Sun, Cool Shadow- Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc is a well written book, very easy to read, well researched, and full of interesting facts- did you know Vermouth was invented around there? You really do want to go out to the supermarket to buy the food which is focused on in the chapter you are reading, and a cottage for a couple of weeks in the south of France is something I’ll be looking at for my next holiday. The book doesn’t talk about wine very much, if at all, which is a little disappointing, as the wine trade has been a key characteristic for the region over the last 40 years, going from producing cheap plonk to becoming an up-and-coming wine region; I think you need discussion of wine for a complete picture of the region. But overall, a fun read, and I learnt a good deal, well recommended. 8/10.

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Pheasant Cassoulet « oxfood

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: