21 April 2009

Tangerines

One of the cookbooks I picked up when I was looking for a recipe for pickled eggs was the 1941 Escoffier Cook Book - the American edition of Escoffier’s Guide Culinaire.

It is a daunting tome: all of the recipes are given in synopsis and assume that the cook has an extensive and practical ability to get by in the kitchen. After failing to locate anything as pedestrian as a pickled egg, the book fell open to a recipe for tangerines:

2687 – Almina Tangerines
Cut a slice of the peel from the stem-end of the tangerines by means of a round, even cutter, one inch in diameter. Then empty them, and fill the peels with a preparation of Bavarian cream with violets, combined with crumbled lady-fingers, sprinkled with Maraschino. Close the tangerines with the slice cut off at the start; let them set in a cool place, and, at the last moment, lay them on a dish covered with a folded napkin.

Besides the absolute poetry in the spare instructions of the recipe, I do so love that this recipe for tangerines uses no part of the tangerine but the peel. What does one do with the flesh?

11 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

You got it right, poetry! Bavarian cream with violets. Who thinks of such things? I'm surprised there was no pinprick of lovers blood to add, just a dash mind you.

Kelly said...

I love old cookbooks.

Harriet said...

It's not just the spareness of old cookbooks that is poetry, but they details they choose to add. There is no information at all about quantities or proportions of ingredients here, but that do not neglect to tell you to "lay them on a dish covered with a folded napkin." The contrast, to me, emphasizes the theatricality of cooking, while reflecting an assumption that anyone who bought a cookbook would already know how to cook but was just looking for ideas to make it more elegant or dramatic or economical.

Kyla said...

You snack on them while preparing the rest, of course!

Mayberry said...

Also, how on earth would you remove said flesh through a one-inch hole?

YourFireAnt said...

Check out: "How to Cook a Wolf", "Serve it Forth", and especially "The Art of Eating" by M.F.K. Fisher.

or Alice B. Toklas's cookbook.

FA

LAS said...

Pickled eggs? Really? I've never heard of this. I love anything pickeld, however this I can't imagine.

YourFireAnt said...

Never heard of pickled eggs? You don't hang out in bars enough.

;-)

Kwana said...

It's quite bold to give the recipe that title. Great Post.

phd in yogurtry said...

sluuuuuuurrrrrrrrrp!

Karen said...

I would add the tangerine pulp to a tossed salad instead of tomatoes. Or put them in some muffins.

I would love to see a picture of the dessert made by that recipe. It sounds beautiful.