A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair

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A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food 2.5 Stars A Taste of Paris looks at the history of food in Paris and Parisian attitudes towards food The book starts it s history with the Roman conquest of Paris and goes through modern times Each section gives a brief overview of the bigger moments of the period under discussion and then moves on the the ways the period shaped the eating habits of Paris in the future and where you can see elements of this history in today s Parisian restaurants I guess I mof a historian then a foodie 2.5 Stars A Taste of Paris looks at the history of food in Paris and Parisian attitudes towards food The book starts it s history with the Roman conquest of Paris and goes through modern times Each section gives a brief overview of the bigger moments of the period under discussion and then moves on the the ways the period shaped the eating habits of Paris in the future and where you can see elements of this history in today s Parisian restaurants I guess I mof a historian then a foodie because I found the historiesinteresting than the food restaurant recommendations Once Downie moved on to talking about the restaurants or food trends that harken back to a certain period I got a little bored These sections sounded a bit too tour guide to me Still,there are definitely some places that I will want to check out if I m lucky enough to make it back to Paris Ie keep this book around for reference.I won this book through a good reads give away What could have been a fun, entertaining book about Paris s culinary history turned out to be Downie wallowing in a poor understanding of science GMO s aren t bad for you while organic isn t necessarily better MSG isn t a boogeyman, either , modernist cuisine nobody who cooks calls it molecular gastronomy any, and it s a movement already long past gone , or what it takes to be at the top of the food chain, so to speak, of restaurants Downie protests too much He criticized food critics p What could have been a fun, entertaining book about Paris s culinary history turned out to be Downie wallowing in a poor understanding of science GMO s aren t bad for you while organic isn t necessarily better MSG isn t a boogeyman, either , modernist cuisine nobody who cooks calls it molecular gastronomy any, and it s a movement already long past gone , or what it takes to be at the top of the food chain, so to speak, of restaurants Downie protests too much He criticized food critics past and present of not knowing how to cook Based on his poor understanding of science and how the restaurant world works, I wouldn t be at all surprised if he is capable of knowing how to set up basic mise en place for spaghetti with jarred sauce Until the final chapter I was amused, perhaps even inspired to visit Paris His love affair with Parisian food was the hook Sadly, however, he began curmudgeonly ranting against the Michelin Guide, pasteurized cheese has he ever read about the listeria outbreaks in France due to their love for raw milk , and the need for chefs to constantly push the boundaries of food to keep people going out to eat We re already several generations beyond modernist cuisine There are only a handful of practitioners left in the world, and the best of them is based in Chicago Cut out the final chapter and some of his anachronisms and scientific illiteracy could be overlooked, as they were dwarfed by his obvious passion for both the food and history of Paris gastronomy But he left a bad taste in my mouth that can only be washed out with a dose of Bourdain with an absinthe chaser Note I am a culinary student with nearly four decades of cooking under my belt I m also married to a future doctor with an equal appreciation of food and science she helps me separate food myths from food science From the critically acclaimed author of PARIS, PARIS and A PASSION FOR PARIS, comes a delectable culinary history of the gastronomic capital of the worldIn his trademark witty and informative style, David Downie embarks on a quest to discover What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover s paradise Long before Marie Antoinette said, Let them eat cake actually, it was brioche , the Romans of Paris devoured foie gras, and live oysters rushed in from the Atlantic one Medieval cookbook describes a thirty two part meal featuring hare stew, eel soup, and honeyed wine during the last great banquet at Versailles a year before the Revolution the gourmand Louis XVI savored thirty two main dishes and sixteen desserts yet, in , Grimod de la Reyni re, the father of French gastronomy, regaled guests with fifty two courses, fifteen wines, three types of coffee, and seventeen liqueursFollowing the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its environs, revealing the locations of Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today and Marie Antoinette s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce, no longer to the unfortunate queen, but to the legendary Alain Ducasse and his stylish restaurant inside the palace of Versailles Along the way, readers learn why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food From myreview, It was not by accident that Paris became the world capital of gastronomy But how did it happen David Downie, who in his marvelous books has walked you all the way around the City of Light, now walks you back in time to her secret history, through the centuries long saga of how Paris was fed The logistics are staggering, the characters unforgettable, and the stories of the kind you can dine out for a year on Reading, you may just feel that gastronomy as we know it i From myreview, It was not by accident that Paris became the world capital of gastronomy But how did it happen David Downie, who in his marvelous books has walked you all the way around the City of Light, now walks you back in time to her secret history, through the centuries long saga of how Paris was fed The logistics are staggering, the characters unforgettable, and the stories of the kind you can dine out for a year on Reading, you may just feel that gastronomy as we know it in the best Paris restaurants is the tender flower of mighty and continuous labor dating to the deep, deep past As always, David Downie leads you to see Paris anew, through any lens he crafts for you Don t miss this one Yes a really, really good book But, do I have the cred to review it I am a chef and writer editor I worked in Paris for several months a year for 20 years.Now, I see a few nasty reviews here When that happens, I check out the credentials of the reviewers, to see if anything they have written previously suggests a background sufficient to make them credible as negative reviewers in this instance I don t see that background in the negative reviewers here Which brings me to a philosophical as opposed to personal point the one about being very careful what you say to derogate from a writer s years long, indeed lifelong, efforts, unless your expertise is greater than his, and you can fault find from a deeply informed perspective I am anything but certain a negative review on Goodreads is useful to the community if it comes from any other kind of source I loved everything about this book the humor, the insight, the history Even if you re not a foodista and you don t love history, there s no better book to walk you through the culinary evolution of Parisian cuisine, from the Greeks and Romans and Russians to modern day. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from Goodreads Giveaway and St Martin s Press I was really looking forward to reading this book It was a immense struggle to read I was looking forward to the Parisian history of food, however, I got a historic view of Paris with some food thrown in The history given in this book was amazing and should have been promoted about Paris, but not the solely about the food. This book was a surprise freebie with my bookstore clearance section purchase a few months ago I was excited to read it initially since it s a cultural history of food restaurants in Paris The author offers a boatload of interesting historical facts and an overall unique lens into well known historical characters, but the organization of the book makes it difficult to appreciate this particular cultural history Sadly, I think my issue with the author s writing stems from the fact that he is a This book was a surprise freebie with my bookstore clearance section purchase a few months ago I was excited to read it initially since it s a cultural history of food restaurants in Paris The author offers a boatload of interesting historical facts and an overall unique lens into well known historical characters, but the organization of the book makes it difficult to appreciate this particular cultural history Sadly, I think my issue with the author s writing stems from the fact that he is a non historian attempting to write history, and he s simply not doing a great job at it He seems to jump too quickly from one historical fact character to another to the point that the reader may struggle to absorb the important details provided Thank you to David Downie, St Martin s Press, and Goodreads for the giveaway copy of A Taste of Paris At first, reading this made me want to move to Paris, drink wine, and eat And eat And eat Then came the continuous references to famous French figures from history and restaurants that I d never heard of I felt like I needed a French English dictionary, Wikipedia, and Yelp alongside for this read I ended up reading the last three quarters of it with a copy of Thank you to St Martin s Press and David Downie for the free advance copy Part travelogue, part history book and part humourless self aggrandizement, this book purports to take you through the streets of Paris to the best restaurants most evocative of different periods of the city s culinary history.I did not enjoy this book The pretentiousness bleeds into every page The author both dismissively belittles those wanting to protect authentic French cuisine with a UNESCO certification AND those Thank you to St Martin s Press and David Downie for the free advance copy Part travelogue, part history book and part humourless self aggrandizement, this book purports to take you through the streets of Paris to the best restaurants most evocative of different periods of the city s culinary history.I did not enjoy this book The pretentiousness bleeds into every page The author both dismissively belittles those wanting to protect authentic French cuisine with a UNESCO certification AND those who enjoy modern cuisine At one point he dismisses fusion cuisine entirely with an off hand line Who even remembers fusion Within the first few pages the author dismisses and insults foodies and alternatively something called foodistas for eschewing actually good food in search of modern, exciting food Um, hello How tone deaf can you be who do you think is buying your book Some of the historical anecdotes were quite well done witty and informative, but the portions dealing with where to go in modern Paris were atrocious Far from being a walking tour as the blurb describes, this book is incomprehensible for anyone not already intimately familiar with the city.First time visitor to Paris Don t buy this book Foodie Don t buy this book Read our author interview here ve long loved David Downie s books on Paris, for their illumination of a city so many people love He is a consummate researcher, his books brimming with details I d never known before, but he s also a storyteller I can t put his books down So let me share his new book as always, I stayed up WAY too late reading it , A Taste of Paris A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food.A Taste of Paris is that rare book th Read our author interview here ve long loved David Downie s books on Paris, for their illumination of a city so many people love He is a consummate researcher, his books brimming with details I d never known before, but he s also a storyteller I can t put his books down So let me share his new book as always, I stayed up WAY too late reading it , A Taste of Paris A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food.A Taste of Paris is that rare book that combines history with an immensely readable style Think of how Lin Manuel Miranda s Hamilton brought US history to life Downie s book does the same, but with a much broader scope and no music, alas that of several thousand years, and a wide range of social, cultural, and gastronomic changes Dating from c 53 BC until today, Downie shares the places and spaces, people, and recipes that have influenced food and eating in Paris Downie names the Ile de la Cite spot ground zero in the edible and drinkable epic of Paris, he shares architecture, food, wine, history, andthe city of Paris itself grew like an oyster shell, in layers, built from the intermingling of imported styles, merging the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and so did the culture that produced the often complicated delicacies and refined nectars Parisians and visitors adore today or prefer to fashionably disdain as unworthy of past greatness Downie delves into history, detailing important people, ingredients, trends, andin an interesting, readable way Everything is included recipes, menus, restaurants, food writers and critics, chefs, humble and noble food, and , all written engagingly, as if he was talking to a friend Not only did I learn a great deal, but I was constantly hungry for perhaps archaic dishes or the company of someone long passed Once you read this, you might have to rethink who you would choose for that invite 3 people from history to dinner game You might also, like me, wish to follow in Downie s footsteps, as he purposefully wanders the city of light You ll love this book, and find yourself getting extra copies for your friends who love food, or France, or both especially since your copy will be dog eared and much read Highly recommended