This October sees the release of a new cookery book which is sure to grace the shelves of anyone who has enjoyed a rustic meal in an Alpine refuge or chalet and wondered how on earth to cook it.
Fortunately for us, food writer Meredith Erickson has travelled the wintry peaks and picturesque trails of the alpine region of France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria to source the most delicious dishes. She has cajoled family secrets, sought the advice of intriguing characters and rigorously tested methods to produce Alpine Cookery.
The result is a beautiful cookery book, which almost doubles up as a coffee table book, such is the glossy, arty nature of the tome – with some scenes reminiscent of Slim Aarons’ Verbier photography.
It’s a book to leaf through, recollect fine skiing holidays, hiking adventures and cheerful ruddy-faced meals in hidden huts you don’t recall the name of. Mostly though, the tantalising photography is an inspirational call-to-action: to re-create these mouth-watering dishes at home.
With Meredith’s friendly, oven-side manner and easy-to-follow recipes, this book is a great insight into the world of alpine cooking, from the quintessential alpine dish of Wiener Schnitzel, which Meredith says should have a ‘puff’ of airiness between the meat and the breadcrumb, to a Roussette poached trout which comes in a clear Sauvignon Blanc broth bobbing with pearl onions.
Little pouches of spinach and cheese Mezzaluna from Val Pusteria, a town that borders Italy and Austria, takes inspiration from both, using gruyere, parmesan and ricotta. The book also covers soups, fondues, dumplings and schnapps.
Deserts range from the traditional to the innovative. The Salzburger Nockerl, a recipe which was coaxed out of a tavern owner in the city, is described by Meredith as a ‘dramatic soufflé’ with the pastry peaks resembling the crags of the nearby mountains that surround Salzburg. An ingenious use of Ricola cough sweets, known for their iconic packaging which feature the Alps, is created into a creamy and refreshing ice cream where sage, peppermint and mallow shine through.
An ideal gift for anyone who feels the romanticism of the alps, Alpine Cookery is a joy to behold, and also features handy tips and advice including maps, an alpine address book, a wine guide and a range of opinions from the Tour de France to alpine art. Consider this to be much than just a cookery book.