In A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns, Madeline
Scherb takes us on a journey to the past, to a time when stories were written in glass (the
glass windows of the churches) and life was ruled by the toll of the bells.
Amazingly enough, this lifestyle has been preserved into our time. And as the author takes
us through about 40 monasteries and abbeys in Europe and the States she has visited, we get a
glimpse into the lives of these remarkable men and women, who still today follow the teachings
set down by their ordersí founders hundreds of years ago.
Although they donít live anymore as their predecessors did, by farming the land, they still
purchase their products locally and in season, make their own food and survive by selling their
surplus goods. But, unlike so many of us, they do not live to work, but to pray. And never try
to make a profit.
In her lavish descriptions of their wares, which include cheese, beer, wine and spirits, and
sweets, the author manages to convey how food can be a sensual pleasure that transcends a
The recipes that follow each chapter incorporate the product manufactured in the specific
monastery described to create a mouth-watering meal. Some of the recipes are plain enough (Savoy
cheese melt), while others will expand your culinary horizons (chicken livers on a bed of apples
comes to mind). All of them are not to be rushed, but crafted with love. They are recipes prepared
from scratch, at leisure and with the freshest ingredients, to create the heavenly taste the book
A shopping guide—a list of places from which to order these products—and a suggested
reading list complete this highly recommendable book.