General/ Recipes/ vegan history/ vegetarian history

La Basconnaise – French Vegan Salad

Sharing some more old items from our Ernest Bell Library – items connected to – Végétalisme historique / Historical Veganism.

The French were 20+ years ahead of the British in creating the names – végétalisme végétalistevégétalien végétalienne – ……for what Dorothy & Donald Watson – plus other friends termed – veganismvegan – in 1944.

Most of the links in this blog post go to French sources.

A Famous Dish

The Basconnaise is an economical ‘complete meal’ / vegan salad. It was served as the main dish in France’s first anarchist vegan centers / cafés in the early 1920s –  almost 100+ years ago.

The brief menu –

pub-le-vegetalien2

Translated –

Foyer Végétalien 40, Rue Mathis, PARIS (metro station: Crimée)

Price of meal: 3.50 francs

MENU: “Basconnaise” (mixed salad composed of raw greens and root vegetables and cooked potatoes). – Soup. – Cooked vegetable. – Dessert.

At this center, customers may eat as much as they wish; the only item for which the servings are limited is fruit. Customers are advised to remember that oil and bread can be dangerous to their health when consumed in excess: no more than two spoonfuls of oil (24 grams) should be taken per meal, and the quantity of bread should be proportional to the amount of strenuous work one performs.

Foyer Végétalien 3, Rue Fodéré, NICE (Port)

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This first Végétalien (Vegan) Centre in Paris was founded in 1923/4 by French anarchists – key players were Georges Butaud & Sophie Zaïkowska. Sophie famously managed the crucially important kitchen. Another Foyer Végétalien opened in Nice – ……and then more.

The cafés had very simple menus. The ingredients of Basconnaise and the other dishes would vary – they were made with seasonal vegetables & fruits.

The recipe shared here is on a postcard, featuring Louis Rimbault on the obverse. He claims to be the inventor of Basconnaise.

Now, for the first time ever, a delightful English translation of this original recipe for Basconnaise is shared below, very kindly done by Keith Sarver and Elisabeth Lyman.

More about the early French anarchist vegans – here.

More about France’s first anarchist vegan cafes / libraries / projects / books / journals – here.

The source of the photos & the French text – click here to visit.

A 1934 French vegan recipe book – here.

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LouisRimbault R

LA “BASCONNAISE”

La salade basconnaise (alimentation saine, vivante, complète et innocente ) sera composée de toutes verdures potagères, de toutes salades et légumes verts coupés fin, après un lavage soigné à l’eau salée d’abord, et rincés à l’eau courante.

Les racines crues : carottes, navets, rutabagas, radis noirs, panais, raves, betteraves, pommes de terre, topinambours, etc., simplement brossés – un légume, un fruit épluchés perdent jusqu’à 8 parties sur 10 de leur valeur nourricière. Sans être épluchés, ils seront donc nettoyés à la brosse à main dans l’eau courante, si possible, et coupés par le travers du fruit, afin que le fil soit coupé menu, avec un couteau de fer blanc, dit ” couteau à julienne “, vendu communément 0 fr, 50 dans les bazars. Ce couteau, garni de petites encoches, produit une julienne qui fait s’entrelacer, dans un coloris appétissant, puis se confondre, tous les éléments en présence.

Le radis rose et le salsifis, seront coupés en petites rondelles à l’aide de l’extrémité du couteau réservée à l’épluchage de la pomme de terre.

Les fruits, tels que tomate, melon, seront coupé fin en petites tranches, le melon, débarrassé de sa pelure ; le concombre, la pomme, ces deux derniers lavés avec soin et non épluchés, seront débités en julienne.

D’autres fruits , tels la cerise – noyau sorti – la groseille à grappe, la framboise, l’amande, la noix, la noisette et la marron – ces quatre derniers coupés en petits morceaux agrémenteront la basconnaise, suivant ce que la saison fournira de fruits.

Les légumes secs : haricots, lentilles, fèves, pois, cuits dans les soupes (au moyen de la boule à riz ou d’un petit sac de toile), seront ajoutés dans la proportion d’une cuillerée à bouche ou deux par personne.

Les haricots verts coupés fin, les fèves fraîches coupées en petits morceaux et le petit pois, peuvent enter, pour une petite part, dans la composition de la basconnaise.

Le chou fleur (cuit et cru), les légumes verts cuits, les croûtons de pain cuit au four – supprimant le pain sur la table – et la pomme de terre cuite (3 en moyenne par personne ), seront également ajoutés : le blé grillé légèrement passé au moulin à café, une cuillerée à bouche par personne, sera très goûté.

Toutes les variétés de choux crus, coupés très fins, sont tout spécialement recommandées pour leurs principales minéralisateurs : le chou cuit est à écarter de la basconnaise.

Les amandes et le blé trempés dans l’eau avec quelques gouttes de jus de citron pendant 12 heures au moins, et passés ensuite au hache-viande, font de la basconnaise un aliment complet de soutien et de force. Condiments associés aux choix : poireaux, ciboulette, oignons, ail – vert de préférence – pourpier, oseille, persil, cerfeuil, estragon, fenouil, sariette, raiponce, pimprenelle, champignons crus et fleurs de trèfle, sainfoin, luzerne, capucine, rose, genêt, coquelicot, sureau.

La salade pourra être assaisonnée de citron en remplacement du vinaigre – quelques gouttes de vinaigre peuvent détruire une part importante des principes minéralisateurs – d’huile de bonne qualité, au choix des variétés, et sel.

Louis RIMBAULT

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A note from the translators: Keith Sarver and Elisabeth Lyman

It’s always an interesting challenge to translate something written in a past generation. To give English-speaking readers an accurate sense of the original recipe, we tried to preserve its somewhat conversational (and at times cumbersome) style and antiquated feel. To this end, we largely resisted the temptation to condense and streamline the content for a more readable result, except in cases where the meaning would have been obscured. We also chose certain words with a view to evoking bygone times. For example, the “cuillère à bouche” (literally, “mouth spoon”) has about the same capacity as a modern tablespoon measure. But since this French term is no longer commonly used, we decided to translate it using an equally rare and rustic-sounding English unit of measure based on the soup spoon. Readers will also notice references to some generally obsolete kitchen utensils, including a julienne knife plated with tin, a potato-peeling knife (rather than a vegetable peeler), and a “rice ball”. This last device, which resembled a giant tea strainer, was for cooking rice but could also be used to prepare beans and lentils or to flavor a broth with herbs that had to be removed before serving. Purists may wish to seek out some of these items for a more authentic experience, but for the rest of us, modern utensils fortunately serve just as well!

RiceBall

Rustic primitive antique French rice ball strainer, used for cooking rice. Diameter: 6″

This was a fun text to translate. We hope the readers of the blog will enjoy it, and perhaps even try their hand at making this historic French salad themselves.

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The “BASCONNAISE”

The “Basconnaise” salad (for a healthy, vibrant, well-balanced and guiltless diet) is composed of all varieties of finely chopped garden greens, lettuces and green vegetables, washed carefully ahead of time with salted water, and rinsed under running water.

Raw root vegetables: carrots, turnips, rutabagas, black radishes, parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, beet roots, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, etc., simply scrubbed clean – peeled fruits and vegetables lose up to 8 out of 10 parts of their nutritional value. So, rather than peeling them, clean them with a brush under running water, and slice them into rounds with a tinware knife called a “julienne knife” (commonly sold for half a franc at most general stores). This knife, which has small notches, creates a julienne cut that may be interwoven into an appetizing color arrangement, so that all the components of the salad can be clearly seen.

Red radishes and salsify should be sliced into small rounds with the end of a knife used to peel potatoes.

Fruits, such as tomatoes and melons, should be thinly sliced – and the melon should have its rind removed; cucumbers and apples should be carefully washed and not peeled, then julienned.

Other fruits, like cherries – pitted – currants, and raspberries, and nuts – almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts – the latter four chopped into small pieces, can garnish the Basconnaise, according to what is in season.

Legumes: beans, lentils, broad beans, peas, cooked in bouillon (in a metal rice ball or cheesecloth), should be added in the following proportions: one or two soup-spoonfuls per person.

Finely chopped green beans, fresh broad beans cut into small pieces, and peas, may also be included when making the Basconnaise.

Cauliflower (cooked and raw), cooked green vegetables, baked croutons – eliminating the need to put bread on the table – and cooked potatoes (about 3 per person), may also be added: lightly toasted wheat kernels, ground in a coffee grinder, a soup-spoonful per person, could be a delicious addition.

All types of raw cabbage, finely sliced, are especially recommended for their mineral content: do not use cooked cabbage in the Basconnaise.

Almonds and wheat kernels soaked in water with a few drops of lemon juice for at least 12 hours, then ground in a meat grinder, make the Basconnaise nutritionally complete and a good energy source. Here is a list of possible complementary condiments: leeks, chives, onions, garlic – preferably young – purslane, sorrel, parsley, chervil, tarragon, fennel, summer savory, rampion, salad burnet, raw mushrooms and clover flowers, French honeysuckle, alfalfa, nasturtiums, roses, Scotch broom, poppies, elderberries, etc.

The salad may be seasoned with lemon as a substitute for vinegar – a few drops of vinegar can destroy a major part of the minerals – high-quality oil (the choice is up to you), and salt.

Louis Rimbault

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PCF

Louis RIMBAULT
fondateur et directeur de “Terre Libérée” à Luynes (Indre-et-Loire), France.
Inventeur et propagateur à travers le monde de la célèbre “Basconnaise”. 

Louis RIMBAULT

founder and director of “Terre Libérée” at Luynes (Indre-et-Loire) France .

Inventor and worldwide propagator of the famous “Basconnaise”.

LouisRimbaultSig

 Our Ernest Bell Library copy of the card – autographed & dated 1929

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Note – http://www.linternaute.com/dictionnaire/fr/definition/vegetalien/
French –
Végétalien , adjective – Sens 1 – Qui est adepte du végétalisme. – Traduction anglais : vegan  
Végétalien , nom masculine – Sens 1 – Partisan du végétalisme. – Traduction anglais : vegan
English –
French has 3 versions of the old word for ‘vegan’ – végétalienne = feminine – végétaliste = neutral – végétalien = masculine
The English concept of ‘veganism’, conceived in 1944 = was originally termed ‘végétalisme’ in French, it was in common use by ~1920.

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A modern ‘take’ on Basconnaise – from here.

Il y a fort longtemps, disons au début du siècle dernier, un certain anarchiste végétalien (j’adore), Louis Rimbault pas Arthur, invente une recette dont le but est de proposer un repas le plus complet possible, ainsi nait la Basconnaise. Elle doit son nom à une “colonie naturiste et végétalienne” de Bascon avec laquelle notre Louis a vécu.

La Basconnaise peut être composée de légumes verts, de légumes racines, de noix, de fruits, de légumes secs, d’herbes aromatiques, de citron plutôt que de vinaigre, d’huile de qualité (olive, colza..).

basconnaise

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An Appeal

We are looking after an number of books, booklets, newsletters & original letters from Terre libérée.

Please consider helping us to build up the Ernest Bell Library.

Our history is rich.

It is not yet very well documented.

We freely share our items with museums, universities, libraries & scholars worldwide.

We have a wonderful team of friends / supporters.

……we never have enough $ – € – £ – ¥ – CHF – kr – ₩ – ﷼ – Rp – etc.

If anyone would like more information, please send an email to: – 

humanitarianleague (at) outlook (dot) com 

– or message me  through HappyCow – 

http://www.happycow.net/blog/author/JohnnySensible/

http://www.happycow.net/members/profile_pb.php?id=9728

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“A people without a history is like a tree without roots.”

April / May 2007 – Satya

Q) Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – You use the phrase “historical amnesia” to refer to the fact that contemporary animal activists—and society as a whole—know nothing of the legacy of animal activism in the U.S. What are some of the effects of having “historical amnesia”? Why is it so important to know our legacy?

A) Diane Beers – Animal advocacy has an amazing history, yet it is essentially an untold story. African American activists will often say, “A people without a history is like a tree without roots.” Indeed, if activists don’t know the history of their cause, they can have no sense of their movement’s struggles, long-term strategies, achievements and heroes. In addition, they can’t promote their long impressive movement to the public, and their opponents—the meat industry, medical research industry and the government—will fill the void. They have been the ones most aggressively and successfully constructing negative images and outright myths of animal advocacy that the public often believes.

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Our 3 Main Projects

The Henry Salt Archive is one of our, almost completed, projects.

The Humanitarian League is our Hong Kong registered charity.

The Ernest Bell Library was conceived in 1934. It is still strong & very active eighty years later –  its primary objectives are to: –

Collect all of Ernest Bell’s book & non-book works and make them easily accessible to everyone.

Collect the literature of vegetarianism and all the other humanitarian movements in which Ernest Bell was so deeply involved.

Assist students and scholars in their research.

Introduce all aspects of Ernest Bell’s life, including his writings, campaign work, influences and his circle of friends.

Undertake our own research into missing aspects of Ernest Bell’s life and work.

We already have more than 300 pieces of Ernest Bell’s own writings.

We are also actively building a collection of examples of promotional material, campaign material, fundraising & marketing activities etc. – related to: –

veg(etari)an products

veg(etari)an books & other publications

veg(etari)an organisations

veg(etari)an businesses

animal rights organisations

animal rights publications

humanitarian organisations

humanitarian publications

rambling clubs run by members of the above groups & related publications

the work of Richard St. Barbe Baker & the ‘Men of the Trees’ organization & its many sub-branches

There are currently more than 2,000 items in the Ernest Bell Library.

We will complete the cataloging of the collection as & when adequate funds are available.

It is long past time for the library to go online!

 “I have little doubt that the proposal for the establishment of an Ernest Bell Library, which would specialize in humanitarian and progressive literature, and so form a sort of center for students, will meet with a wide response.” 

Henry S. Salt – writing in September 1934

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