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Julia Child's favorite vermouth for cooking?

Sarah Apr 12, 2012 09:24 PM

She also hints at a bad one(s) that should never be used. Anyone knows which is her fave and the one(s) to be avoided?

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  1. todao Apr 12, 2012 09:39 PM

    Noilly Prat Vermouth

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao
      h
      Harters Apr 13, 2012 03:21 AM

      That choice might suggest that her hints of ones to avoid would be those of Italian, not French, origin.

      1. re: Harters
        Gio Apr 13, 2012 06:12 AM

        Yes, but she would wouldn't she since she was all about French cuisine... Although, there Is a distinct flavor difference.

    2. Karl S Apr 13, 2012 06:32 AM

      French dry vermouth - Noilly Prat. And yes it's a noticeable difference. (FWIW, Cook's Illustrated taste tests from years ago said that Gallo (American) dry vermouth would be second place, with Italian dry vermouths coming after that.)

      A problem is that Noilly Prat changed the formulation of its long-dry American version about 3 years ago, to be closer to the more aromatic European formula, so the Noilly Prat of today is not what Julia cooked with States-side, as it were.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S
        Bacardi1 Apr 13, 2012 03:34 PM

        Yes - I always keep a bottle of Gallo dry vermouth in my pantry. It's inexpensive, lasts a LONG time without refrigeration, & the quality is excellent.

      2. todao Apr 13, 2012 09:25 AM

        Sorry I didn't get into the list of those she might have recommended avoiding. Frankly, I don't recall which Vermouth wines were on the avoidance list. But seeing as how the Noilly Prat Vermouth of today is not (according to comments here) the same as yesteryears it looks like you're still on your own in selecting the best wine for the dish. Gallo???? I ain't so sure; and my faith in Cooks Illustrated recommendations isn't that strong either. Might be worth looking up a trusted sommelier in your neighborhood for the best advice.

        1. w
          will47 Apr 13, 2012 09:39 AM

          I don't know what Julia Child liked, but Dolin (French) is pretty nice (for making drinks anyway, I don't know about cooking). There's also Vya, a California vermouth -- I've only tried the sweet one, but people seem to like it.

          I would keep it cool (wine fridge or maybe the regular fridge), and dry vermouth especially doesn't keep forever. It's a fortified wine, not a liquor.

          1. Antilope Apr 13, 2012 02:56 PM

            Which received the majority of the vermouth, the recipe or Julia? ;-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Antilope
              tim irvine Apr 13, 2012 05:12 PM

              Well if the recent movie was depicting her accurately, her favorite wine was the Martini, hopefully 4 or 5 to 1, made with ice, not just frozen, probably stirred but shaken works, too.

              1. re: tim irvine
                buttertart Apr 13, 2012 05:22 PM

                She has been quoted as saying her favorite wine was gin. I also read she liked an upside-down Martini, more vermouth than.

            2. buttertart Apr 13, 2012 05:21 PM

              Sorry but can't resist: a friend's father used to ask her mother "Do you want a Noilly Prat?"...say it fast and be British, and you get the drift.

              1 Reply
              1. re: buttertart
                h
                Harters Apr 14, 2012 01:44 AM

                Always makes me chuckle. But then I'm a Briton.

                At some point in the past "prat" was a slang word for buttocks . Must go back a long ways as it's not been commonly used like that in my lifetime. You do hear it used to describe the dramatic "fallings over" you see in the old silent movie comedies being called "prat falls". In current use, to call someone a "prat" is a mild insult for someone doing something stupid. It's so common a word in that usage that I suspect few realise that they're actually beign called an arse.

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