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Legendary Paris Dinner Parties

Scads of American memoirists have rhapsodized about their wonderful meals in Paris’s restaurants, but Janet Flanner, who for decades wrote a fortnightly “Letter from Paris” column for The New Yorker under the pen name Gênet, preferred to recall the dinner parties. It requires a certain longevity spent in a city before invitations to dinner begin pouring in. […]

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Truffled Turkey

Thanksgiving food writing is full of recipes and histories of the dishes that we find on the American table, like roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. But I would like to tackle the history of a once-popular dish that I suspect nobody ate last Thursday: the dinde truffêe. Since I’ll never have the chance to […]

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The Rapture of Spring

In French there is an expression, sabrer le champagne, which means to open a bottle of champagne with a sabre. Before last night, I had never seen this trick performed in person. Sabrer le champagne is easily enough translated into English, but English possesses no equivalent expression to describe this wondrous spectacle, except the ultra-technical term sabrage. The […]

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Cream Puffs Through the Ages

Baking is all about the magic of transformation. When it comes to savory food, I tend to subscribe to the Alice Waters school of cooking: keep it simple and let the ingredients shine. I prefer a roast chicken to a wrapped, rolled, stuffed, and sauced chicken roulade. Give me a steamed fresh crab, a cracker […]

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