“Because the days are short and cold, food plays an important part in life.” Manuela Darling-Gansser establishes the importance of food during long Alpine winters in the preface to “Winter in the Alps”. In fact, food appears to serve as an invisible link in many remote areas of the Swiss Alps. It brings people together at the fireplace as they share a hearty cheese fondue, or at the dinner table as they serve each other hot soup.
Winter in the Alps is a rich collection of essays and recipes, documenting the author’s personal journey to discovering Switzerland’s winter culture. With a biography that spans from Iran to Japan, Darling has deep roots in Switzerland as well: Her great-grandfather established a popular restaurant in Lugano some 120 years ago.
Structured by Alpine region, many unique recipes are embedded in each chapter. Underlined with mouth-watering food photography by Simon Griffiths, recipes are easy to follow thanks to international metrics (grams/ounces, Celsius/Fahrenheit).
Ultimately, food is a way of identity for those Swiss who live scattered among the valleys and mountains of the Alps. Whether it is Nuvolone, a cloud soufflé from Ticino, Engadiner Nusstorte, the famed walnut cake from Engadine, or Walliser Nussbrot, a nut bread from Valais, this book leaves us with a difficult decision: Whether to create these dishes from scratch or travel to each region and taste the original…
Winter in the Alps is no ordinary cookbook, but rather an in-depth cultural observation of food in Alpine society.
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Hardie Grant Books, English, 264 pages