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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fumé – Smoked. Smoked Foods in French Cuisine.

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
  
 
Smoke.

Smoking is one of the oldest methods of cooking and of preserving foods and there are two very different processes. The first method is hot smoking that quickly cooks while adding a smoky flavor and then there is cold smoking that cures and preserves and also adds flavor but takes anywhere from a few hours to a month.

Hot smoking

Hot smoking cooks with a smoked flavor and is speedily done. Marinating the food beforehand will also affect the taste.  In hot smoking, the food is cooked indirectly by allowing the wood or different flavors to flavor the hot smoke which cooks the food. Hot smoking is fast, and while dishes such as smoked trout may be allowed to cool before serving most hot smoked foods will be served immediately after they are cooked. (Even I can hot smoke chicken, fish, and vegetables using wood chips and other additions for flavor; one of the tastiest I made was tea flavored whole smoked chicken).
   

Artisanal sausage and meat smoking.
www.flickr.com/photos/nvarchar/11672211976
 
Cold smoking
  
Cold smoking is the method used for many foodstuffs that may be stored without refrigeration; that includes France's popular Andouille and Andouillette sausages.  Cold-smoking requires a great deal more determination and equipment than that used for hot smoking. Food that is to be cold smoked is completely separated from slowly burning wood chips, and no charcoal is used. In the UK one of the most famous and pleasurable cold smoked products, are kippers, kippered herrings. Cold smoking would already have been used when troglodytes, cave dwellers, hung meat up to dry out of the way of pests. They would have immediately realized that foods stored in smoky areas acquired a unique flavor, and was better preserved than meat that was allowed to dry in the wind.
   

Smoking fish.
www.flickr.com/photos/darkbuffet/2305109856/

Historically we can see how smoking developed in French cuisine. Boucaner is a 17th-century French word that means "to cure meat." From this came one of the words used for pirates, Buccaneers. Boucanes, buccaneers, were pirates who smoked and dried the meat in the summer to preserve it for long voyages.
  
Smoked products on French menus:

Agata Farci au Chèvre, Écume de Lard Fume – A baked agata potato stuffed with goat’s cheese and flavored with a foam made from smoked bacon. Bacon was cold smoked though that is not always the case today. Smoked bacon will have been brined, prepared with salt before smoking.  (The French words lard and bacon both mean bacon and are used interchangeably).

Carré d'Agneau et Son Jus à l'Ail Fumé et Thym - A rack of lamb served with the natural cooking juices flavored with smoked garlic and thyme.  Smoked garlic adds a unique flavor, and the most well-known is the peat smoked garlic from around the village of Arleux in the department of Nord bordering Belgium. If you are visiting the area in September, you need not worry about vampires as nearly every house in Arleux is decorated with braids of garlic. Arleux has a garlic fair, the Foire à l’Ail d'Arleux, on the first Saturday and Sunday in September. The website is in French, but it is easily understood with the Bing and Google translate apps.
 
   

Smoked garlic from Arleux.
www.flickr.com/photos/rubber_slippers_in_italy/249616965/

Carpaccio de Magret d'Oie Fumé Mariné au Porto – A Carpaccio of smoked goose breast marinated in Port wine.
 
Fromage Gruyère Fumé – Smoked gruyere cheese. Among the smoked products you may see in French supermarkets are smoked cheeses.  The dairies who do this will cold smoke whole cheeses; the process takes anywhere from one week to one month. 

Jambon Fumé - Smoked ham. The words jambon fumé are rarely seen on French menu listings. Smoked ham will generally be on the menu as jambon cru, cured ham.  If your French – English travel dictionary has the word cru translated as raw do not worry, jambon cru is not raw. Cured hams are been cured by salting, flavoring and air-drying. Some of these hams are smoked, and that is jambon fume.
   

www.flickr.com/photos/inra_dist/25605229871/


Velouté de Cresson et Grillons de Lard Fumé – A velvety soup of watercress served with small, but chunky pieces of braised smoked bacon.   Grillons translates as crickets, the ones that chirp.  Maybe I am disappointing some of the readers; however, when grillons are on French menus these will not be deep-fried grasshoppers. Rather, these will be small braised or grilled food items that may, at a stretch, be considered to look like a cricket.  That’s all they are, no wings, no legs, not even a chirp.
   

Smoked bacon on sale.
www.flickr.com/photos/mikeblogs/8740943936/

Saumon d'Ecosse Fumé au Sel de Guérande – Smoked Scotch salmon, prepared with the salt from Guérande. The French acknowledge that the best Atlantic salmon comes from Scotland. Scottish salmon was the first food product from outside France to receive France’s Label Rouge, red label, a quality rating for excellence.  Guérande is in the department of the Loire-Atlantique in the Pays-du-Loire and is one of France’s most highly rated sources for sea salt, especially its fleur de sel.  Here the smoked salmon has been brined, marinated, in Guérande salt before cold smoking.

Truite Fumée par Nos Soins au Bois de Hêtre Trout smoked over beech wood by ourselves.  This house-smoked trout will have been hot smoked and may be served hot or cold.  Smoked trout is often served with sauce raifort, a horseradish sauce.  French horseradish sauce is creamy and not too spicy. The French want to lightly flavor the food not to anesthetize their mouths!      
 
Terrine de Campagne au Magret d'Oie Fumé – A country pate made with smoked goose breast.  A country pate is rarely a smooth pate.

Many of today’s commercial products sold as smoked meats, smoked sausages, and others, outside the European Union, are no longer genuinely smoked. France has excellent laws that control labeling but at home look carefully at the list of contents.  With the additions, you may realize that the smoked taste often only comes from additives and not smoking.  When you have a properly cold-smoked sausage, fish or piece of meat you can taste the difference. 

There are produce, food products, and wines that are not smoked but have the word fumé in their name, Pouilly-Fumé is an example. Pouilly-Fumé is one of France’s terrific dry white wines; it is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  The word fume in the name indicates the smoky, flinty taste of the wine as it meets your tongue.
   

Pouilly-Fumé
www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/5067680982/

If you have trouble with French pronunciation just click on this free program that I use:

Connected Posts:
 

 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
  
 

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google. Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 3,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.
      
Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu.
Copyright 2010, 2018.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Baron – Baron. Today’s Barons on French Menus.

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
  
  
Roasting a baron of beef.
Roasting the Baron of Beef in the Guildhall Kitchens.

   
The term baron came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror, a Norman-French Duke who invaded and defeated King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings. A baron had to provide the knights and foot soldiers whenever his king or duke required them;  it was William’s Norman-French barons who won the battle. After conquering England, William gave land and English baronies to those who had fought with him. The title baron remains in use today in Britain’s House of Lords. The House of Lords is the second chamber of the British parliament; most of its members are Barons and Baronesses who are elder statesmen and women appointed for life. Nevertheless, a number of baronies created by William are still extant and some are members of the House of Lords.
   
Barons at war.

William’s Norman-French barons brought French cooks to England and created huge and permanent changes in the English kitchen, but a baron of beef was not one of them. The roast called a Baron of Beef was huge roast that included the two hind legs and part of the back of a cow.  It was created in England sometime in the 16th century around the time of Henry VIII whose extravagant banquets became the norm for the British court.    A whole baron would have weighed over 100 kgs, (220 lbs) and would have been cooked on a spit over an open pit for 12 hours or longer.

Baron’s of beef were still on 19th century English menus.
  
Queen Victoria’s Christmas dinner, 1894.
The Royal Menus.
  
English barons of beef impressed the French.
 
In the late 19th century the French who traveled to London, before the French revolution, were impressed by the enormous roasts offered in London taverns. The larger taverns had their own roasting pits, and smaller roasts were trundled from pub to pub by a barrow. 

The Baron de Boeuf was brought to France by the chef and cuisinier Antoine B. Beauvilliers (1754 – 1817). In 1782 Beauvilliers opened in Paris the first French full-service restaurant; he called his restaurant the Grande Taverne de Londres, the grand tavern of London. The restaurant had candlelit chandeliers, damask on the tables, and a menu that apart from huge roasts included soups, duck, pheasant, oysters, lobsters, and fish.  Thirteen years later with the economic upheaval before the French revolution Beauvilliers  closed his restaurant.  When Napoleon I crowned himself Emperor and had brought stability Beauvilliers re-opened his restaurant.  Beauviellers died in 1817, and his restaurant closed in 1825.
   
Napoléonic banquet

Barons of beef are too large for modern restaurants, but barons of lamb, rabbit and suckling pig will be on French restaurant menus:

A baron of lamb includes the meatiest portion of the back, the saddle; the saddle connects the thighs and the legs. Modern barons of lamb weighing up to 15 kilos (33lbs) will be cooked on a spit or in a rack in the oven. Paris still has a few restaurants where a wheeled serving cart reaches all the diners who may order slices from these impressive roasts. Other restaurants will cook parts of the baron separately and slice the roast in the kitchen.

Barons on French menus:

Baron d'Agneau Fermier du Quercy Grillé aux Petits Légumes de Printemps – Grilled slices from a baron of the highly rated Label Rouge, red label, lambs from Quercy; served with young spring vegetables. The Agneaux Fermier du Quercy lambs are raised by their mothers and then allowed to graze freely. Before the revolution, Quercy was a province, now it is part of the departments of Lot and Lot-et-Garonne in the new super region of Occitanie. Quercy, apart from its red label lamb has red label rated poultry and veal and is home to the fabulous Cahors red wine.
   
The best wine to accompany Quercy lamb.
www.flickr.com/photos/nagarazoku/21632784/
   
Baron d'Agneau à la Crème Chicorée  -  Slices from a baron of lamb served with a cream sauce made with the Batavian endive. Chicorée, or chicorée scarole, on a French menu, is the Batavia endive or escarole.  The Batavia endive is a crinkly leaved lettuce-like plant with more flavor than lettuce but not as bitter as other endives so that it works well with creamy sauces.

Do not confuse chicorée on the menu with the chicory root used as a coffee substitute. Chicory root comes from a different member of the family, and its leaves are practically tasteless.  If you like the chicory caffeine-free coffee substitute, it may be found in French supermarkets as Ricoré marketed by the Nestlé or Chicorée Luton by Chicorée du Nord.
    
Roast lamb
www.flickr.com/photos/acme/2935079684/
  
Baron d'Agneau en Croûte Farci au Ris de Veau, Sauce Estragon - A baron of lamb cooked in a pastry covering stuffed with veal sweetbreads and served with a tarragon sauce. This menu listing sounds very tasty but it seems more like a boned and stuffed leg of lamb rather than the whole baron.

Baron de Lapin – A Baron of Rabbit.

Baron De Lapin Au Lard Fumé -  A baron of farm-raised rabbit cooked wrapped in smoked bacon. A baron de lapin will weigh about 800 grams (1.75 lbs) and will be served for three or four persons. In France, rabbits and hares are farm raised and very popular in restaurants and on the table in private homes. Rabbit may not be on the menu in many North American or UK restaurants today but until about one hundred years ago rabbit was on many menus.  During WWII many UK homes raised rabbits for food in garden hutches.
   
Roast baron de lapin.

Baron de Lapin Rôti et Tomates Farcies - Roast baron of rabbit served with stuffed tomatoes.

Baron de Lapin Farci au Genièvre, Royale de Poireaux – A baron of rabbit stuffed with juniper berries and served with royale de poireaux, a pureed garnish of leeks, both the white and green part, blended with eggs, butter and cream.

Baron de Cochon de Lait - Baron of suckling pig.

Baron de Cochon de Lait – A baron of suckling pig roasted with vegetables; usually lacquered with honey just before serving.  A baron of suckling pig will weigh about 4-5 kg (9 -11  lbs) and will be served for 10 or 12 persons. A whole suckling pig is a young piglet weighing less than 15 kg (33 lbs).   
  
Roast suckling pig.
www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/5123188052/

Antoine Beauvilliers apart from bringing huge roasts to France was one of the founding chefs of French Haute Cuisine.   He wrote the book L'art du Cuisinier, the Art of the Chef in 1814; an English translation was published in 1824.  The original French may be read or printed out, without payment, at the website of the French National Library and an English Ebook is available on Amazon.
   

 
Together with the most famous of the early pioneering chefs, Antonin Carême, Beauvilliers co-authored La Cuisine Ordinaire, Ordinary Cooking.  That book was published, posthumously, for both of them, in 1848.  Beauviliers died in 1817 and Carême, in 1833.
  
The original of La Cuisine Ordinaire, may be read on Google books:

   
A baron of beef in North America today:

In North  America, any massive cuts from the rear of a cow may be described as a Baron of Beef. Most are 12 – 20 kg (25 – 45 lb cuts seen at catered events.
  
Connected Posts:
 
 
 
 
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
   
 

 
Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google. Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 3,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.
     
Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu.
Copyright 2010, 2018.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at

behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com