Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween in Paris

Paris may be home to one of the spookiest places I’ve ever been, the bone-filled catacombs, but the city offers little  in the way of Halloween fun. Sure, a few of the patisseries have pumpkin-themed treats in the window. But tarte à la citrouille hardly makes up for the absence of trick-or-treating as far as my […]

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My generation doesn’t eat supper

The young North American men who flocked to Montparnasse in the 1920s came to drink not to eat. The women were another matter. The men of the “Lost Generation,” as they were famously dubbed by Gertrude Stein, scorned the previous generations of wealthy tourists, like Henry James’s Christopher Newman, who came to improve their “taste” and […]

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The American

The very first place in Paris that Christopher Newman, the tourist-hero of Henry James’s 1876-7 novel The American, visits when he arrives is a fine restaurant. Newman is every bit the prototypical American that his name, with its allusion to the famous Genovese explorer and the world he discovered, suggests. The book opens in the […]

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There is no Ibérico or serrano, only Jamón

The novel most responsible for the everlasting romanticization of Jazz Age expat culture in Paris, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, takes place half in Spain. When the pressures of drinking wine and eating oysters in the cafés of Montparnasse became too much to take, Hemingway, his friends, and the characters he modelled after them, escaped to San […]

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Breakfast à Paris

Although the sun had long since fallen over the Seine, flowing by across the street, the crowd at Paris’s Shakespeare and Company last night was very excited to talk about breakfast. They had gathered to hear Seb Emina, author of the new Breakfast Bible, in conversation with David Lebovitz, cookbook author and Paris food-blogger extraordinaire. So many […]

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Cassoulet

“To the untrained American ear cassoulet sounds like some sort of ambrosia.” – Julia Child For Americans in love with French food, cassoulet holds an almost magical significance. It evokes an unattainable ideal. Made with ingredients that are difficult to find or too expensive to afford outside of France – confit d’oie (preserved goose), haricots lingots (a French […]

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M.F.K. Fisher’s Hunger

“When I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it” – M.F.K. Fisher, The Gastronomical Me (1943) The famous twentieth-century food writer Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, or M.F.K. Fisher as she signed her writings, really wrote about love and the hunger for it. In fact, she wrote about love and the […]

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Le Rosbif

Le rosbif is an excellent husband: loving, supportive, and, I should stress for the sake of this blog, a very fine cook. But he has his foibles, as do we all, and those little flaws can sometimes cause great trouble – as in the case of le rosbif’s tragic pursuit of satisfactory steak frites in […]

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