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The Perfect Meal : In Search of the Lost Tastes of France
by John Baxter

Overview -

IACP Cookbook Award Winner (Culinary Travel)

Part Grand Tour of France, part history of French cuisine: an irresistible journey, from Paris to Provence, to find "the perfect meal"

An expat Paris resident for more than twenty years, John Baxter began noticing an alarming trend: just as species of plants and animals are rapidly facing extinction globally, so too are the traditional ingredients and techniques of classic French cooking and eating.  Read more...


 
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More About The Perfect Meal by John Baxter
 
 
 
Overview

IACP Cookbook Award Winner (Culinary Travel)

Part Grand Tour of France, part history of French cuisine: an irresistible journey, from Paris to Provence, to find "the perfect meal"

An expat Paris resident for more than twenty years, John Baxter began noticing an alarming trend: just as species of plants and animals are rapidly facing extinction globally, so too are the traditional ingredients and techniques of classic French cooking and eating. Indeed, he worried that the soul of the world's most revered national cuisine is in danger of disappearing, as centuries-old ways of cooking, preparation, and farming wither away. Spurred to action, Baxter set off across the country on an unforgettable quest to taste the last great French dishes before they disappear forever--from Paris's surviving haute cuisine establishments to the tiny local restaurants that still serve the remarkable regional dishes of Provence, Normandy, Cote d'Azur, and more.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062088062
  • ISBN-10: 0062088068
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Publish Date: February 2013
  • Page Count: 400

Series: P.S.

Related Categories

Books > Travel > Europe - France
Books > Cooking > Regional & Ethnic - French
Books > History > Europe - France

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-11-05
  • Reviewer: Staff

Confronting the disturbing fact that in 2011, two thirds of French restaurant owners confessed to concocting their meals with "bought, canned, frozen, or boil-in-a-bag portions," John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World) undertakes a delightful task. He researches, in the broadest sense, the nearly forgotten techniques and ingredients of the classical foods of his adopted country. Baxter, an Australian who now resides in Paris, crisscrosses the literary, historical, and geographical landscape in search of emblematic French foods including roasted ox, bouillabaisse, and ortolans, those tiny birds drowned in Armagnac and eaten whole, with a napkin draped over the diner's head. What emerges from his travels is a spicy, humor-filled accounting of the culinary and literary history of a nation defined by its gastronomy. Baxter touches on the reason French people don't like cake, the poetic rightness of onion soup, what makes the truffle the plutonium of vegetation, and why the French never embraced vegetarianism. "To eat meat, the leaner the better, signifies prosperity," Baxter writes. This is one of those delicious books that tickles the psyche, seduces the senses, and effortlessly enlarges the intellect simultaneously. Baxter skillfully blends what could be considered merely entertaining food trivia into a satisfying full-course meal. (Mar.)

 
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