Sunday, January 16, 2011

Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles by Rupert Kingfisher

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will know that I enjoy books that talk about food so here is one you might also savor and enjoy although the food is far from conventional. In her exotic Parisian shop Madame Pamplemousse (what a perfect name!) sells the strangest of foods such as Bison and Black Pepper sausages, Pterodactyl Bacon, Great White shark fin in Banana Liquor and Cobra brains in Black butter. She also sells “her rarest delicacy, a delicacy sold in the tiniest little jar with a label upon which nothing is written. The label is blank and the ingredients are a secret, since it is the single most delicious, the most extraordinary, the most incredible-tasting edible of them all.” Hence the title of this book Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles.

I came across this book because the sequel has been listed for our School Magazine bookshelf. Each year our School Magazine here in NSW selects 40 fabulous books. This is a source I really trust, actually this is where I found Toby Alone – my book of the year for 2010!

Our hero in Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles is Madeline, a young girl who is sent, each year, to work in the restaurant of her appropriately named Uncle, Monsieur Lard. His restaurant is called the Squealing Pig and the food served there is truly awful especially the dishes prepared by Monsieur Lard himself. Madeline is a talented cook but when her uncle discovers this he is enraged and makes an edict that Madeline is only to be allowed to wash dishes, clean out the ‘fridges and sometimes go shopping for supplies. It is on one of these shopping expeditions that she encounters Madame Pamplemousse and her cat Camembert and her life is drastically changed.

This book is a delicious romp through the streets of Paris and through recipes both delectable and revolting. The characters are all larger than life and the little black and white illustrations throughout add to the fun.

If you enjoy this book look for the sequel Madame Pamplemousse and the Time travelling Café which is almost as good. If you have a few spare minutes pick up the first book. It is a quick one to read and one that might leave you hungry although it is more likely to leave you keen to visit Paris one day!

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