Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Bruno's Cookbook

Martin Walker's series of detective books features Bruno, the chief of police in St. Denis, a fictitious small town in the Périgord region in Southwestern France. I've enjoyed all the Bruno books, from Bruno Chief of Police, published in 2008 through this year's new book, The Templar's Last Secret.

One great feature of these books: they include mouth-watering descriptions of the foods that Bruno cooks, eats, and enjoys. Most of Bruno's cuisine features intriguing products purchased, bartered, or gifted from local farmers and producers (who often also furnish clues about whatever terrible crime he's trying to solve). As a result, trying to recreate these meals in an American kitchen would be a big challenge. But there's a chance to try: Walker has recently written a cookbook.

ALAS! The only publication of this book is in German. I don't know exactly why no English edition seems to be forthcoming -- a long thread on Walker's blog has described for several years the reluctance of English publishers to go through with it. Around a month ago, at the end of this thread, he says he still doesn't know why it's not progressing. The German edition recently won a prize. Walker's blog explains: it won "'World's Best Book on French Cuisine' at the Gourmand International awards, in Yantai, China, home of China's booming new wine industry." (link and link)

I looked through a copy of Brunos Kochbuch that belongs to Evelyn. I definitely would love to have a copy in English! Here are a few photos that I took of the many beautiful pages of this book:

Photos remind one of the delightful communal food events that take
place in the detective novels. Here: a hunter's meal.
Local markets and local producers appear in a number of images.
You can only dream about some of the recipes, such as the ones that use
fresh truffles. Whatever else you read, truffles really don't retain their flavor
after long shipping: even if you could afford the hundreds of dollars they cost.
However, some recipes look quite achievable. With a little help from my German-fluent relatives, I think I'll try this one, for
an onion tart with a goat-cheese custard. I can almost figure out what it says to do!

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