The July 14, 1930 issue of “Broadway and Hollywood Movies” magazine contained a charming article featuring silent film and talking pictures star Renee Adoree.
As the article states, she was born in Lille, France, and so the magazine requested her to present some of her favorite French recipes to its audience.
Renee Adoree was born Jeanne de la Fonte in 1898, so she was 31 at the time of this article. The sad truth is that she would be dead only three years later, a victim of tuberculosis. I first became aware of her as the female lead in The Big Parade, a 1925 silent movie about World War I, which she starred in with John Gilbert. It’s a long movie but it’s so good I’ve watched it several times already and I’m sure I’ll watch it again!
But now let’s turn to what the magazine claims to be Renee’s own words here in 1930. She begins by asking,
“Do you like real French cooking? Ever been to Paris and tasted the world’s masterpieces of the culinary art? Ever sample a real pleasant meal in the province of Burgundy or tasted a rare onion soup in Brittany? If not, you’ve missed a lot in life.
“Of course, climate has much to do with the tastes cutivated by your palates and the needs your body feels by way of nourishment, but voila!, that is true all over the world. It will interest some of my readers to know that France is about on the same latitude as Labrador. That means longer days in the summer time than you have in New York or Hollywood, and longer nights in the winter…. Which is as it should be.”
The lovely Renee goes on to present the following French recipes, with the disclaimer that: “I’m not going to attempt to give you a meal nor lay out a menu to stick by, –just a few of my favorite recipes I have used in America”:
1) Lille Chocolate Delicacy
2) French Frozen Pudding
3) French Fried Deviled Eggs
4) Pate de Fois Gras
5) French Dressing a la Renee
6) French Fried Mushrooms
7) French Fried Chicken
I have included scans of the complete article, so if you would like to try any of the recipes you can just click on the images and you’ll be able to read through them. There seems to be a lot of frying involved, and also very basic ingredients.
In closing, Renee writes,
“Voila! Now you have it. I only wish that I had more space to give you more of these delightful recipes. Possibly later, n’est pas! Until then, au revoir.”