Troubador Menu from the Midi

Released: 28/09/2021

ISBN: 9781800464964

eISBN: 9781800466487

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Menu from the Midi

A Gastronomic Journey through the South of France


Menu from the Midi explores French gastronomy from the farmer’s field to the dining room table. Concentrating on the South of France, the book is structured as a menu carefully compiled to give the reader a balanced diet of gastronomy, history, legend and local colour. Uniquely, it adds into this mix a celebration of the dedicated and passionate people who produce some of the finest raw ingredients and foodstuffs you are ever likely to taste.

Appreciating good food and wine needs the right ambiance, the right company and plenty of time. Sit back, relax and savour the oldest sparkling wine in the world, le Rolls-Royce of olives, pink garlic soup, meats of the black Gascon pig, the legendary cassoulet, cheese from the caves of Roquefort, and learn how the Midi’s ornate pigeon towers ensured a constant supply of roast pigeon.

No wonder the father of food journalism and gastronomic guides, Grimod de La Reynière, had this to say 200 years ago: ‘In good towns of the Midi, a great dinner is an affair of state. One speaks of it three months beforehand and digesting it lasts six weeks.’

I have just closed the account of this beautiful gastronomic journey through the South of France in search of the most authentic specialties, and I am under its spell! Yesterday evening, I watched a television programme which showed the landscapes of the Midi-Toulousain seen from the air, and I felt as if I were reliving the encounters described in ‘Menu from the Midi.’

Each chapter of your menu tackles a very different subject and reawakens old memories while addressing the present and the future of our existence in Occitanie, and even evoking the problem of feeding the world’s growing population.

It is with great emotion that I close this book, telling myself that my English may not have enabled me to capture the full depth and details of ‘Menu from the Midi.’ I must reread it, I must return to the dining room table and listen again to everything that the people in it communicate to us. Thanks to the book, they guide us through this journey to the very heart of gastronomic traditions with precision, dedication and even lyricism.

by Ginette Durand-Gorry

I am replete! Despite not having been able to visit France for the past two years or sample its culinary delights, I have eaten and drunk to the full in Colin's marvellous new book "Menu from the Midi". I know this corner of the world well and it was such a joy to taste again the flavours of rhe Occitan: Crémant de Limoux, Luques, purple Lautrec garlic, cassoulet, Château Guilhem organic rosé, Roquefort - I savoured them all on this gastronomic journey also learning a thing or two on the way! So great for these local producers to be acknowledged. Such a well researched book - I loved every page. Thank you Colin/Merci mille fois!

by Estella Archibald

For francophile anglophonic gastronomes, this is the book. Ideal Christmas present to give you ideas to decorate your table.
Following his more geo-political "Lauragais", Colin Taylor turns to the food of south-west France for inspiration, and a profound look at its history, development and current state. From an aperitif to the final digestif, the book will have you drooling - and who wouldn't salivate, with the startling pink garlic soup, a main course of roast pigeon and a roquefort cheese for those who like a bite.

by Tony Milne

Colin Duncan Taylor

Colin has been living in the south of France for 20 years, and through his books he shares his passion for the region's culture, gastronomy, history and language.

In Lauragais: Steeped in History, Soaked in Blood, he explores a thousand years of a history that has been shaped by characters including Simon de Montfort, the Black Prince, Thomas Jefferson and the Duke of Wellington. On a more peaceful note, the book also investigates the construction and operation of the Canal du Midi, and the rise and fall of pastel, or woad, an industry which brought fame and fortune to Toulouse in the 15th and 16th centuries.

His latest book, Menu from the Midi, draws on two decades of intensive personal gastronomic research during which he has discovered first-hand the history and legends, the festivals and fairs, and the cultural background surrounding the Midi's most iconic culinary specialities, including the oldest sparkling wine in the world, le Rolls-Royce of olives, pink garlic soup, meats of the black Gascon pig, the legendary cassoulet, and cheese from the caves of Roquefort..

Visit his website and blog to find out more about the Lauragais and the Midi.

An Englishman who is passionate about the Lauragais

Bastille Day at the memorial to the Resistance of the Montagne Noir
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