Alsace Alsace, unlike other areas in France is dominated by French and German influences. The region is situated in mid-eastern to north- eastern France. It is bound to the north and the east, across the Rhine river by Germany and to the south by Switzerland and the region of Franche-Comté. To the west, separated by the Vosges mountains it borders onto the region of Lorraine Major Industries: Viticulture - wine growing – Riesling, Gewurztraminer Hop harvesting and brewing (half of French beer is produced in Alsace) notably Kronenbourg beer forestry development Automobile industry (Mulhouse) Tourism
History in brief 58 BC – conquered by Julius Cesar and the Romans. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the region fell to the Allemans. The Franks drove them out, and what Alsace was integrated in what was called Autrasia. After the Caroligians dynasty came the Merovigians kings. As the first European emperor, Charlemagne, left his empire to his three sons and Louis the Pious controlled Alsace. 12th and 13th Frederick the first (Barbarossa), claimed Alsace to be “the dearest of our family possessions”. French influence in Alsace began at the end of the 1500s during the Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years War when Alsatian cities, caught betweens warring Catholic and Protestant armies, turned to France for much-needed assistance.
History in brief 1648, most of the region was attached to France and by the time of the French Revolution, the Alsatian people felt more connected to France than to Germany. Germany still held out hope for a foothold on the western bank of the Southern Rhine, and in 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was launched. It France was forced to cede Alsace and the northern part of Lorraine to the Second Reich. During the time of German rule, citizens were forbidden to speak French and books, signs and references to France were destroyed. Inside the Maginot Line Following Germany's defeat in WWI, Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France, and the previous anti-French policies were reversed. The region wasn't considered to be subject to changes in French law from 1871 to 1919, such as the Law of Separation of the Church and the State. It was partly to prevent another German invasion and to defend this region that the Maginot line was created. But Hitler's army went around it and invaded France, annexing Alsace and Lorraine in the process. After the war, Alsace -Lorraine was again returned to France. To make Alsace a symbol of hope for future France-German cooperation, Strasbourg was chosen as the seat of the council of Europe and for the European parliament
Cuisine of Alsace The cuisine of Alsace is very unique and not typically French. It’s close proximity and historical association with Germany have left many influences. Due to it’s beer brewing tradition Alsace is considered the inventor of the Brasserie. Alsace does not has a very simple cuisine with few distinct ingredients only. Dishes served " à l'alsacienne“ almost always are served with choucroute (sauerkraut). Choucroute alsacienne or choucroute garni are sauerkraut dishes served with sausages, pork or ham. Pork is an important meat in Alsace and the pig is known as le seigneur cochon (the noble pig). In late May, white asparagus are in season and the Alsatian variety are sought after all over France. Alsace is also a foie gras producing area competing with the areas from southwest France. Patisserie specialties include the kougelhopf, the tarte alsacienne (a custard tart with local fruits such as quetsches - plums). Birewecks are sweet buns with dried fruits marinated in kirsch.
Fish & Seafood River & lake fishes Carp Pike Pike perch Dairy &Cheeses Munster (AOC) Crème fraiche – d’ Alsace Meat - Processed Cervelas d’ Alsace Knack (sausage) d’ Alsace Presskopf (fromage de tete) – Head cheese Jambon fume – smoked ham Poitrine de veau farcie – stuffed Veal breast Vegetables Carrots – from Colmar Cabbage – red Cabbage – for sauerkraut Horseradish Fruits Walnuts Hazelnuts Plums Eau de vie – Schnapps – Fruit brandy Pear brandy Kirsch Plum brandy Raspberry brandy Beer Products – Alsace
Products of Alsace – Processed Meats Fromage de tete - Presskopf – Head cheese A.K.A Brawn This is a cold cut generally made out of calf’s or pig’s head. The head is cooked in a “court bouillon” with bay leaf, pepper, onion, and other aromatics, then cut in pieces and pressed into a mold. The natural available gelatin will “jelly” the meat during the cooling process. The finished product is the sliced like a cold cut and served with vinaigrette. Often gherkin or Cornichons are added to the product after cooking. Poitrine de veau farcie - Stuffed veal breast Deboned veal breast, filled with a vegetable studded, coarse veal farce, then slow-roasted in the oven. The dish can be served hot but often is cooled and sliced up like cold cuts. Knack (Knacker sausage) Precooked smoked sausage, originally from Germany. Traditionally made from a fine pork paste, although some French version may contain beef and/or veal.
Products of Alsace – Processed meats Saucisses de foie – Liver sausage These are spreadable, paste like sausages, not smoked just poached, often served with bread. Typical they contain up to 20% pork liver along with pork meat and spices, but they can be made with other livers as well (veal). Saucisse blanche – White sausages Traditional non smoked poached veal sausages. The farce is smooth and white due to cream being added to the meat. Sometimes parsley is added to the farce, always served warm with mustard on the side.
Products of Alsace – Choucroute - Sauerkraut Chocroute – Choucroute garni Sauerkraut is fermented, finely shredded white cabbage which is cooked after the fermentation process and served as a side dish to smoked pork (loin, rips or knuckles), boiled beef, sausages and more. The finely shredded cabbage is placed in a stone pot and then squashed in order to be bruised and then salted. This will bring out the juices of the cabbage. A wooden lid, slightly smaller than the actual width of the pot, is placed onto the cabbage and pressed down. It is important that no air bubbles remain in between the shredded cabbage. The lid needs to slightly smaller so gases that occur during the fermentation process can escape. The juices that have been oozing out of the cabbage need to cover all the cabbage, as air can not come in contact with the cabbage. This would result into the cabbage getting spoilt. The natural lactic acids of the cabbage will ferment the cabbage which is also a great source of Vitamin C. The sauerkraut which has been salted, needs to be washed before being braised with the addition of beef bouillon, white wine, champagne or beer depending on the regional specialty that is produced.
Products of Alsace – Dairy – Cheese Munster (AOC) A well-known washed rind cheese made in farms in the Vosges mountains. The town of Munster is its home. Of monastic origin (munster is a contraction of the Latin monasterium), it has been in existence since the Middle Ages. Faithful to tradition, munster is made with rennet-curded cows milk, put into molds, it drains slowly and matures for 21 days (14 for a small munster). The cheese, a flat disk in shape, has a smooth surface varying in color from yellow-orange to red. Mild when very young, it becomes spicy with a sweet, rich flavor as it matures. It comes in various sizes; the largest are the best.
Products of Alsace – Foie Gras Foie gras is the most refined dish of Alsatian gastronomy. It would seem that it was the European Jewish community that unveiled the secret, because for a long time, they were the only ones to force feed geese in order to eat their livers. Alsatian foie gras owes its reputation to the foie gras pâté created in 1778 by Jean Pierre Clause, the cook of Marshal Contades, who was the military governor of Strasbourg at that time. Foie gras can either be served in a terrine, or hot, in different ways: one of the most popular recipes is foie gras steak, fried with potatoes.
Traditional Dishes of Alsace Choucroute garni Sauerkraut is the Alsatian dish par excellence, usually served in enormous portions, and the cooked in Alsace wine. The fermented and marinated cabbage is cooked slowly with a variety of smoked meats, such as bacon, smoked pork, pigs knuckles and 3 or 4 different kinds of sausages, together with boiled potatoes. A hearty dish, best consumed in fall and winter. Baeckoeffe There are many ways to prepare baekenofe. The word baeckeoffe means "bakers oven", and in fact this tasty casserole of 3 kind of marinated meats (pork, beef and lamb) layered with potatoes, onions and moistened with white wine used to be cooked in the bakers oven. Originally this dish was prepared on Mondays, when housewives usually did their laundry and had little time to cook. They brought the marinated stews in earthenware terrine to the local baker, who placed it into his wood-burning oven. When it was time for the midday meal, the stew was ready and brought home.
Traditional Dishes of Alsace Flammekueche – Flambéed tart A typical Alsatian appetizer. A simple thin bread dough is topped with onions, cream and bacon and then baked in the oven. The name comes from a time when the pie was baked in a fire oven and was surrounded by flames. Tarte a l’ognion - Onion tart Onions blended with eggs and cream and baked like a quiche. Coq au Riesling – Chicken in Riesling wine A thick creamy chicken stew. The wine helps to tenderize and flavor the meat and provides the base for the sauce. It is served with egg noodles or spaetzle (dumplings). Chou rouges aux pommes et aux marrons Shredded red cabbage stewed with apples and red wine and garnished with chestnuts. Generally served during autumn and the game season.
Traditional Dishes of Alsace – Deserts/Pastries Kougelhopf – Raisin yeast cake This yeast-risen coffee cake, with raisins and a surface sprinkling of flaked almonds and confectioned sugar. For a perfect shape and texture, it is best baked in the authentic earthenware grooved mold. In Alsace the cake is served on many occasions all year around: as a dessert; for breakfast, spread with fruit preserves. Pain aux fruits secs – Birewecke – Dried fruit bread Birewecke is a bread filled with dried pears, apples, plums, figs, raisins, almonds and walnuts and flavored with kirsch. To be eaten a week after it has been baked.
Traditional Dishes handled in the applied Laboratory sessions Fried Carp Choucroute Flamekueche – Flambeed cake Frogslegs History & origin of the dish Ingredients Cooking Method
Lorraine Départements: Meuse, Moselle Vosges, Meurthe-et-moselle Major Cities: Nancy, Metz Vittel, Neufchateau Climate: Similar to the Alsace, tough and clod winters and hot summers
Lorraine is located in the north east of the country bordering onto Alsace in the east, Franche-Comte in the south and Champagne- Ardennes in the west while in the North the countries of Luxemburg, Belgium and Germany line it’s border. Lorraine is the only department in France that borders onto 3 European countires. Major Industries: Textiles Mining (last iron closed in 1997) Technology Services Tourism
History in brief Generally very similar than the history of Alsace During World War II, the cross was adopted as the official symbol of the Free French Forces (French: Forces Françaises Libres, or FFL) under Charles de Gaulle. The capitaine de corvette Thierry d'Argenlieu suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc (whose symbol it had been), and as an answer to the Swastika. De Gaulle is memorialized by a gigantic 43-meter high Cross of Lorraine at his home village of Colombey-les- Deux-Églises..
Cuisine of Lorraine The cuisine of Lorraine is built around potatoes. The famed Breaux potato (from the village of Breaux in the northern Meuse region is considered one of the best due to perfect growing conditions in that area. Potatoes are the co-main ingredient in many traditional dishes of the region (The “Potee Lorraine”) Smoked bacon in particular but also Boudin noir (black pudding), knack sausage, “Pate Lorraine” and Anduille are just some of the many pork products that are considered specialties of this region. Apricots, Blueberries, Mirabelle plums (yellow plum) and red and white currents are specialty fruits of the region and find their way into many traditional desserts and pastries.
Fish & Seafood River & lake fishes Carp Trout Dairy &Cheeses Carre de l’est (square of the east) Gerome Meat - Processed Andouille du Val d’ajol Boudin de Nancy Knack (sausage) Cochon de lait en gelee – piglet in jelly Pate Lorraine Quenelle de moelle – Bone marrow quenelles Vegetables Truffle from Meuse Fruits Apricots – from Nancy Currants – white and red Mirabelle plums – yellow plums Others Honey – des Vosges Eau de vie – Schnapps – Fruit brandy Mirabelle brandy Products – Loraine
Products of Lorraine – Processed Meats Pork products Although the raising and subsequent slaughter of the family pig was common in the French provinces up to the Second World War, today few families raise their own pigs. The slaughtering process, usually performed in late-November, required the whole family plus a few neighbors to work all day to first kill and bleed the animal, and then to butcher the carcass. The majority of the pieces were used to produce meat items that would sustain the family through the winter. These items would include hams, sausages, pâtés, and other preparations which preserve the pig’s flesh long past the time where fresh meat would have spoiled
Products of Lorraine – Processed Meats Andouille de Val-d’Ajol – Chitterling of the Anjol valley Produced with lean pork and pork fat and tripes, spices and white wine. Firstly boiled then smoked. Cochon de lait en gelee – Jellied piglet Similar to the presskopf (head cheese) the piglet is cooked in in stock and the natural jelly is used to make a terrine. Pate Lorraine – Pate Lorraine Veal and pork pate baked in puff pastry. Quenelle de moelle – Bone marrow quenelles Bone marrow dumplings, usually served “liquid” dishes such as soups pot au feus or similar.
Products of Lorraine – Processed Meats Boudin de Nancy – Black pudding - blood sausage from Nancy When bleeding the pig, it was necessary to constantly move one of the forelegs to facilitate drainage and avoid the formation of clots. The warm blood had to be stirred to keep it from coagulating. Today in France, the blood is removed from the pig with a vacuum system and immediately centrifuged to prevent it from solidifying. Pork blood consists of 77% water, 7.2% albumin, 14.5% globulins, 0.3% fibrin, 0.2% fat, and 0.8% other substances. Centrifuging breaks down the fibrin and inhibits coagulation. The blood will still coagulate if heated to between 70 and 80 °C (158 to 176 °F). Blood sausages are very perishable and are often produced on a daily basis. The sausage is produced in long, undivided lengths from which the patron purchases a cut piece, or in individual links. Each producer of blood sausages has his own recipe where the ingredients and proportions differ from those of other producers and contain blood, fat, and cooked onions as a basic recipe, but the proportions can vary widely. Different seasonings may be used. Common additions include apples and chestnuts. Blood sausages are mostly eaten fried with roast potatoes or stewed apples. Andouille de Val-d’Ajol – Chitterling of the Anjol valley Cochon de lait en gelee – Jellied piglet Deboned veal breast, filled with a vegetable studded, coarse veal farce, then slow-roasted in the oven. The dish can be served hot but often is cooled and sliced up like cold cuts. Pate Lorraine – Pate Lorraine Quenelle de moelle – Bone marrow quenelles
Products of Lorraine – Mirabelle plum Mirabelle de Lorraine Mirabelle plums from Lorraine The Mirabelle plums are a specialty of the Lorraine region with the regions climate and soil creating ideal growing conditions for the fruit. The fruit is closely related to plums but are bright yellow and smaller the regular plums. Two main cultivars are grown for fruit production, derived from cherry plums grown in Nancy and Metz. The Metz type is smaller, less hard, and less sweet, and has no small red spots on the skin. Best suited for jam, while the Nancy type is better as fresh fruit as it is sweeter. Since 1996 the mirabelle de Lorraine has been recognized by the EU as a high-quality regional product, with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This label guarantees a minimum fruit size (22mm) and sugar content, and can only be used in a specific geographical zone of production
Traditional Dishes of Lorraine Potee lorraine One pot meal with smoked pork (bacon, shoulder and breast) and pork sausage. Potatoes, white beans, cabbage, carrots and turnips are added and the gently simmered for up to 2 hours. Omelette au Boudin de Nancy Regular herb omelette with diced Boudin as its main ingredient. Roti de proc aux quetches - Pork roast with prunes The prunes are added together with onions and white wine during the roasting process. The stewed prunes are then served as an condiment to the roast. Tourte Lorraine Veal and pork meat pie with two dough's, Pate brisee for the base and puff pastry for the top.
Traditional Dishes of Alsace – Deserts/Pastries Madelaines Small, rich and buttery sponge cakes baked ina shell shaped mold Tarte aux mirabelles Generally a regular pie dough is made, lined into a shallow pie mold and shortly pre-baked (blind baking) the plums are then added to the pie and topped with a sweetened “royale” (equal amounts of egg yolk and cream) A very simple but delicious tarte.
Traditional Dishes handled in the practical session in the laboratory Quiche Lorraine Origin and history Ingredients Preparation