Tastes of the Pyrenees, Classic and Modern focuses on the polyglot of cuisines of the Pyrenees region, whose mountains stretch almost 300 miles from the balmy beaches of the Mediterranean to the turbulent Atlantic coast. Each of the 86 recipes opens with a short narrative introduction that highlights the differences and similarities in the various cooking styles of this exciting culinary region that has been influenced by so many cultures. A separate chapter on wine summarizes traditions that date back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, and were kept alive in monasteries during the Middle Ages.
The kitchens of this region also have seen an explosion of creativity in recent years, bringing diners from around the world to the tables of chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Santi Santamaria in Catalonia, and Juan Marí Arzak, Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana, and Hilario Arbelaitz in the Basque country. Marina Chang visited these restaurants and adapted some of the chefs’ recipes in this cookbook.
The recipes in this book include ancestral and modern ones from what today is Catalonia in both Spain and France, Roussillon, Languedoc, the Midi Pyrenees, the Basque country (Euskal Herria) in both France and Spain, Asturias, Navarra, and Aragón. This region includes the lowlands drained by the range, the dense forests and valleys of the foothills, and the wild, rugged peaks clad in ice. A few recipes are from Cantábria, reflecting the suggestion that the Cordillera Cantábrica (including the Picos de Europa) should be considered the westernmost portion of the Pyrenees. It also includes chapters on the natural and human history that provide a background for today’s cuisines of the Pyrenees. Complete with b/w photographs, illustrations, and maps.