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Cooking With French Benedictine Nuns

I mentioned in this space the other day that while in France, I met Ambroise Touvet, the co-author of a forthcoming book about the cooking done by the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fidélité de Jouques. [1]It’s a coffee table-sized book, with text, recipes, and photographs. It’s a real stunner. It was so beautiful that I wanted to buy a copy and cook from it, even though I would have had to have translated the recipes into English measurements. Alas, it wasn’t on sale yet. Now it is.

The book talks about cooking and gardening at the abbey, and how this is integrated into the religious lives of the monastic community. Ambroise sent me some shots of the book’s interior. Check these out:

If you are in France, you can order a copy via Amazon.fr, or go to your local bookstore. Here’s more information from its publisher, Larousse. [2] I am posting on it in this space for a very selfish reason: I want Invitation à l’Abbaye translated into English and sold in the US, so I can cook from it, learn from it, and treasure it always. If you know anyone interested in acquiring US rights for the book, please contact me at rod — at — amconmag — dot — com, and I’ll put you in touch with Ambroise.

This really and truly is a special book. The glories of France and its culture are endless.

7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "Cooking With French Benedictine Nuns"

#1 Comment By James C On October 12, 2017 @ 5:55 pm

Really French is a pretty straightforward language to read with a dictionary, so don’t hesitate to get it. You can buy it off Amazon.fr and have it shipped to the USA for as little as €6.60!

Folks in Italy can buy it off Amazon.it and get free shipping.


#2 Comment By Jay On October 12, 2017 @ 6:13 pm

It’s a real stunner. It was so beautiful that I wanted to buy a copy and cook from it, even though I would have had to have translated the recipes into English measurements.

Why? It’s easy to find metric measures and scales. My measuring cups have both units and my digital kitchen scale has both grams and ounces.

#3 Comment By lancelot lamar On October 12, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

It is true, France and French culture are magnificent. I am so sad about it’s state today, according to your new friend Alain Finkielkraut. It is tragic if the French Catholic culture shown so beautifully in this book is truly coming to an end.

#4 Comment By Michelle On October 12, 2017 @ 8:59 pm

Looks like an amazing book. I hope it getd published in English. I’d certainly buy a copy.

#5 Comment By Thomas On October 13, 2017 @ 9:08 am

I would buy this book in a heart beat

#6 Comment By mrscracker On October 13, 2017 @ 10:43 am

My son gifted me with a British cookbook & reminded me that measurement conversion charts are easily found on the internet. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me.
Thank you for the reminder, I need to try some of those recipes now.

#7 Comment By Anna On October 13, 2017 @ 10:58 am

Apart from measurements, ingredients are often quite different in Europe, so I would think translating would not be enough – you’d need to have all the recipes re-tested in an American test kitchen, too.

I spent half a year as an au-pair in Denmark right after high school, and brought along many of my mom’s recipes, but even apart from the ingredients that didn’t exist there – e.g., peanut butter, molasses, rolled oats – common ingredients such as flour were quite different, and so most of my recipes didn’t turn out right.

This is why Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was so revolutionary: she wrote a French cookbook for American kitchens, which is an entirely different thing than a French cookbook translated into English.