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French Impressions Food
volume One - Northern France

150 Fabulous Foolproof French Regional Recipes

( Donella East )

Price: £9.99
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First take your Frog...

Fancy trying cockle curry, frog’s legs or Richard the Lionheart’s favourite dish of  roasted swan? Well, now you can with La Puce’s first cookbook, devised, planned and written by Donella East. For many years, Donella has been accompanying George around France, organising and mostly keeping him out of trouble as he gathers material for his books. Early on in their wanderings, she began collecting local and regional recipes from home cooks and cafe and restaurant owners. After twenty years she found herself with a clutch of carrier bags stuffed with menu cards and recipes jotted down on paper napkins and cigarette packets. ‘Last year,’ says Donella, I was having a clear-out and, going through the bags, realised they were stuffed with more than a thousand recipes from every part of France. I asked George if he thought they would make an interesting series of regional cookbooks. He said yes, but only if I tested all the recipes on him before publication.

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Real French Food

Now, the first of four regionalised cookbooks is out, and contains 150 recipes from eight northern regions. As well as notes on history and culinary styles and traditions, the ‘menu’ for each region is divided into starters, main courses, puddings, cakes and breads. As Donella explains, the most fertile grounds for her recipe-hunting were the rural cafes and bars which offer an ‘ouvrier’ or workman’s special lunch. ‘As well as really well-cooked and sometimes amazingly cheap meals, by visiting an ouvrier you get to meet local people and find out what they like to eat at home,’ says Donella. ‘What I really wanted to do was give readers a selection of the sort of dishes that French people eat at home or in bars and budget restaurants. I also wanted to help de-mystify French cooking. A lot of people think that French recipes can be over-complicated, demanding and generally too fiddly. In fact, real French rural cookery is as straightforward as it can be inventive and delicious.’

Recipes in the new cookbook come from kitchens and restaurants in the eight northern regions of:

·        Brittany

·        Normandy

·        Pays de la Loire

·        Ile de France

·        Picardy

·        Nord-Pas-de-Calais

·        Champagne-Ardennes

·        Alsace-Lorraine

As well as all those recipes, Donella’s cookbook also contains a section on her favourite  French potato  dishes from each region, and a step-by-step guide to the basic types of pastry used in the book.

Try a Taste

For an example of the sort of recipes you will find in Donella’s new cookbook, just click here.

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