French Savarin / Fransk Savarin

A classic French recipe from “God Mat Fra Hele Verden” (Delicious Food From All The World) published by Schibsted in 1971


Brillat-Savarin must be said to have been the greatest of all great "chefs de cuisine". His famous book "La Physiologie du gout", which came out in 1825, is read with increasing delight of all who have an interest in the great cuisines. "The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star," said the great gastronome. And when we think about it, isn’t he right?


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In Context
a10452_savarinJean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1 April 1755, Belley, Ain – 2 February 1826, Paris) was a French lawyer and politician, and gained fame as an epicure and gastronome: "Grimod and Brillat-Savarin. Between them, two writers effectively founded the whole genre of the gastronomic essay."

Brillat-Savarin was born in the town of Belley, Ain, where the Rhône River then separated France from Savoy, to a family of lawyers. He studied law, chemistry and medicine in Dijon in his early years and later practised law in his hometown. In 1789, at the opening of the French Revolution, he was sent as a deputy to the Estates-General that soon became theNational Constituent Assembly, where he acquired some limited fame, particularly for a public speech in defense of capital punishment. His father Marc Anthelme adopted his second surname in 1733 upon the death of an aunt named Savarin who left him her entire fortune on the condition that he adopt her name.

He returned to Belley and was for a year the elected mayor. At a later stage of the Revolution there was a bounty on his head, and he sought shelter in Switzerland at some relatives’ place in Moudon and then in the hôtel du Lion d’Argent in Lausanne. He later moved to Holland, and then to the new-born United States, where he stayed for three years in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Hartford, living on the proceeds of giving French and violin lessons. For a time he was first violin in thePark Theater in New York.

He returned to France under the Directory in 1797 and acquired the magistrate post he would hold for the remainder of his life, as a judge of the Court of Cassation. He published several works on law and political economy. He remained a bachelor, but not a stranger to love, which he counted the sixth sense: his inscription of the Physiologie to his beautiful cousin Juliette Récamier reads

"Madam, receive kindly and read indulgently the work of an old man. It is a tribute of a friendship which dates from your childhood, and, perhaps, the homage of a more tender feeling…How can I tell? At my age a man no longer dares interrogate his heart."

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