A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns

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Penguin, Aug 6, 2009 - Cooking - 240 pages
2 Reviews
A fascinating (and mouthwatering!) look at the wonderful food and drink produced by monks and nuns in America, Belgium, France, and Germany.

Part travel guide, part cookbook, A Taste of Heaven is a delightful survey of the fine food and drink made by Catholic religious orders in America, Belgium, France, and Germany. From positively scrumptious beer and cheese to some of the richest chocolate on earth, the treats presented in this book are heavenly indeed, and author Madeline Scherb beautifully captures the heart and spirit of the holy work that goes into producing them. With vivid descriptions of the monasteries, their fascinating histories, and helpful advice for travelers on getting there and getting the most out of their visit, this book will serve as an invaluable guide. A Taste of Heaven also contains more than thirty recipes from notable chefs that incorporate the products found at these monasteries, as well as a helpful guide to buying and ordering these delectable ingredients if you are unable to travel to the monasteries themselves. Recipes include such delights as:

* Flamiche (a Belgian version of quiche that uses Postel cheese from the Postel Abbey in Belgium) from chef and food columnist Sandy D'Amato
* Brownies à la Mode with Trappistine Caramel Sauce (uses caramel from Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, Iowa)
* Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet (made with Pinot Noir from St. Hildegard Abbey near Rudesheim, Germany) from Ciao Bella Gelateria in Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Featuring lovely original black-and-white illustrations that perfectly capture the tranquil atmosphere of the monasteries, A Taste of Heaven is a treasure for anyone who loves spirited food, drink, and travel.
 

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A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns

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Part cookbook, part travel guide, Scherb's survey of the food and drink made by religious orders completely dispels the image of austerity associated with monasteries and abbeys. The 30-plus recipes ... Read full review

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I especially like the recipes in A Taste of Heaven. There are easy recipes like French Toast with Trappist beer and then there are challenging recipes from chefs including Charlie Trotter (beef cheeks, anyone?). I still haven't tried all the recipes but the ones I made were delicious and the abbey ingredients can usually be replaced with whatever you have in your pantry. Of course, as the book explains, it's best to get the ingredients from the abbey so that you can support the monks and nuns. I am planning to see at least one of the monasteries for myself now that I've taken the armchair traveler's tour.  

Contents

CHRISTMAS COCOA
CHICKEN WITH CHARTREUSE AND MUSHROOMS Serves 4
ABBEY BREW PUBS IN FLANDERS AND WALLONIA BELGIUM
BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS WITH SWEET AND SPICY MISO WILDFLOWER HONEYGLAZED CARROTS AND TOASTED SOURDOUGH BRE...
ROASTED COD FILLETS SMOKED TROUT RISOTTO AND MUSSEL EMULSION À LA TRAPPISTE Serves 4
CARBONADES FLAMANDES
TRAPPIST COFFEE Serves 1
VEAL KIDNEYS WITH TRAPPIST ALE Serves 1
GANAGOBIE ABBEY ABBAYE NOTREDAME DE GANAGOBIE
TRUFFLEINFUSED TAMIÉ cheese plate or set out the whole wheel for a party
SAVOY CHEESE MELT Serves 1
BROTHER VICTORS CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS Serves 4
SPINACH CRÊPES Serves 4 to 6
CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE Makes one 10inch pie 12 servings
BROTHER VICTORS PEAR CLAFOUTIS
BROWNIES À LA MODE WITH TRAPPISTINE CARAMEL SAUCE Makes about 15 brownies

CREAMY BEER SOUP Serves 6 to 8
SAINT LIOBA BEER AND MUSHROOM SOUP Serves 4 to 6
CHICKEN LIVERS ON A BED OF APPLES Serves 2
CARAMELIZED BANANAS WITH WESTMALLE TRIPEL AND RUM Serves 4
FRENCH TOAST WITH WESTMALLE DUBBEL Serves 4
VEGETARIAN PAELLA WITH WESTMALLE TRIPEL Serves 4 to 6
LIÈGESTYLE SALAD WITH WESTMALLE TRIPEL Serves 4 to 6
SALMON EN PAPILLOTE WITH ORANGE AND WESTMALLE TRIPEL Serves 4
BLACKBERRY CABERNET SORBET Makes 1 quart
CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE Makes one 9inch cake 8 servings
THE CHEESE ROUTE
MONT DES CATS ABBEY ABBAYE DU MONT DES CATS
ÉCHOURGNAC ABBEY ABBAYE NOTREDAME DE BONNE ESPÉR ANCE
GOAT CHEESE APPLE PIE Serves 4
A TASTE OF PROVENCE
AIGUEBELLE ABBEY ABBAYE NOTREDAME DAIGUEBELLE
CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT TORTE WITH COGNAC MOUSSE Makes one 3layer 8inch cake 8 servings
UPSTATE NEW YORK
PAPAYA PICKLE Makes 2 cups
SHORT RIB SPICE MIX
BONELESS PORK LOIN ROAST WITH NEW SKETE FARMS SMOKED BACON Serves 6 to 8
CRÊPES SAINTGUÉNOLÉ WITH SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE Serves 4 12 to 16 crêpes
QUICK APPLE CAKE WITH GINGER PRESERVES Makes one 8inchsquare cake
BROTHER SIMEONS LENTIL AND ARTICHOKE STEW Serves 8
GARLIC SOUP Serves 6
TAPENADE PROVENÇAL Makes about 1½ cups
TRUCCHIA Swiss Chard Omelet Serves 2
MIXED GREEN SALAD PROVENÇAL Serves 6
RASPBERRYSCENTED VINEGAR Makes 3 cups
UNITED STATES
EUROPE
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About the author (2009)

A journalist, Madeline Scherb has written for several newspapers, magazines, and radio programs around the country. The recipient of a Fisk Fellowship in Media and Religion from the Eli Lilly Foundation, she has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Scherb now lives in New York City.

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