You may be stuck on French food for the foreseeable future if you pick up French Country Cooking, a new collection of heritage recipes by French National Assembly member Françoise Branget. From the ultra-simple and rustic to the famed complex pastries and luxurious composed dishes that bolster French cuisine’s international renown, you can be sure there are instant favorites to be found. 

Val-d’Oise, directly north of Paris, is in the second tier of Île-de-France departments circling the city. Its rich land remains largely agricultural, but residential subdivision is on the rise. One victim is the town of Montmorency, just ten miles from Paris, where the cherries that bear its name are now grown in only a few orchards. Cultivation of the red sour Montmorency cherry is increasing elsewhere, however, as its high antioxidant level adds to its culinary appeal.

“This long-established preparation with sour cherries — emblematic of Montmorency — represents well our region. Cherries are particularly delicious with duck.” —Jérôme Chartier, deputy of Val-d’Oise

Reprinted with permission from French Country Cooking