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Love in a Dish . . . and Other Culinary Delights by M.F.K. Fisher (Penguin Great Food #19)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  229 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Whether the subject of her fancy is the lowly, unassuming potato or the love life of that aphrodisiac mollusk the oyster, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher writes with a simplicity that belies the complexities of the life she often muses on. She is hailed as one of AmericaOCOs preeminent writers about gastronomy. But to limit her to that genre would be a disservice. She was pass ...more
ebook, 129 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Counterpoint LLC (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tiffany
Feb 16, 2016 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...when our boulevards are lined with an infinity of bad eating houses filled with dead-faced people placed like mute beasts in their stalls; today, when one out of every three marriages ends in divorce ... It seems incredible that normal human beings not only tolerate the average American restaurant food, but actually prefer it to eating at home. The only possible explanation for such deliberate mass-poisoning, a kind of suicide of the spirit as well as the body, is that meals in the intimacy ...more
Black Elephants
I didn't know MFK Fisher existed let alone understood that there was a start to the modern genre of gastronomy till this year. So when I stumbled across this small anthology of some of her work, I thought why not?

Things I loved:
--Time capsule! MFK Fisher writes of the recipes, cooking habits and society of the early 1900s. I didn't really catsup meant more than tomato sauce in a jar at one point!
--Every now and then, MFK Fisher just hits on a word arrangement or sentence that is so ... right and
...more
Camilla
Feb 13, 2017 Camilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have long been a fan of Fisher's writing. And I had never heard of this book which is a curated collection of Fisher's writing, selected and edited by Anne Zimmerman.

Fisher writes about potatoes...

"Baked slowly, with its skin rubbed first in a buttery hand...with a fat jug of rich cool milk or a chunk of fresh Gruyère, it fills the stomach and the soul with a satisfaction not too easy to attain. ...Although few realize it, to be complementary is in itself a compliment."

She writes about eggs...
...more
Tess
Oct 13, 2014 Tess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I was recommended M.F.K. Fisher this time last year. I bought this book at the time and it has been waiting patiently ever since - but there was no patient waiting once I started it.

There is a clarity to her writing that I found compelling. There is a careful exposition to her writing, which for me is something that lies outside of time, even if at times it shows its age. I do like the essay form or writing; the exploration and thoughtful rolling of ideas together with personal experiences and o
...more
Alexis Tindall
May 30, 2014 Alexis Tindall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming collection of food writing from an earlier era. Quite lovely.
Meredith
Feb 03, 2016 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I had read several of these pieces before in other places, but it's always nice to revisit - MFKF is such a cozy indulgence and fits like worn-in shoes and yet always feels fresh. That she directly references Brillat-Savarin in one or two places - helped continue the Great Food conversation - adding nuance to gourmandism, and panache.

"As an old hand, Uncle Evans knew where to as the dining-car steward to put on things like live trout, venison, fresh corn, melons. They were served to him at our t
...more
Anne Green
Mar 16, 2014 Anne Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Described as "personal, intimate culinary essays" this small collection has been compiled from several of the author's other books as part of the Penguin "Great Food" series.

It shines with MFK Fisher's infectious enthusiasm and passion for life and the pleasures of the table. In it she combines anecdotes, reminiscences, personal memoir and cultural observations. She's been described as the greatest American prose writer. Her prose is indeed lyrical and very literary in style, although it does co
...more
Ally
Jul 23, 2016 Ally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This would be a wonderful introduction to the writing of M.F.K. Fisher, and to the genre of food writing in general. She expertly crafts personal experiences with food, travel, and life. Her essays envelop the reader and draw you fully and deeply into her world.

In every selection from this collected work, I could close my eyes and easily visualize myself in whatever situation she was describing. I was marketing with her in southern France. I was dining on a train with her and her uncle. I was e
...more
Ape
Never heard of MFK Fisher, but this little excerpt book made for interesting reading. It's a collection of some of Fisher's essays, spanning many decades, and on her experiences of food and drink - both eating, cooking and a wee bit of advice here and there on what to do and a few recipes. But mostly this is prose. She was an American although it seems she spent a lot of time as an adult living in different parts of France, so there is much praise of all things French in this book. I particularl ...more
Katy
Apr 20, 2015 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, cooking
Oh what an unfamiliar food setting I was thrust into upon reading this book! Different countries, different cultures, different times. I thought food was a universal language, and in some ways, it can be, but here I learned how foreign it can be as well. Mostly I was shocked by the difference in time-- Fisher wrote in the first half of the twentieth century, with economies and types of foods varying widely from where we find ourselves today. She is a fantastic writer, and deftly weaves food thro ...more
Kevin
Mar 25, 2011 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: over-eten, food
The book itself is not spectacularly good, although I 100% underwrite the author's title piece: "Love in a dish".
The quote from Brillat-Savarin "The way in which mealtimes are passed is most important to what hapiness we find in life" may seem preposterous but is by no degree so. Compare the hapiness you felt when dinners were merely a chain of take-aways and pre-fab TV-dinners to that when sharing even the simplest meal with those who we love. And how much hapiness cannot be found in adequatel
...more
Niya
Nov 15, 2013 Niya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult not to enjoy M.F.K. Fisher's work - the balance of her prose, her insights, her wonderful descriptive tendencies - whether she's describing the slow process of fruit going bad, or the taste of wine during prohibition - and this collection is rather delicious.
The collection is thoughtfully put together, and composed of pieces that would be difficult to find online or in other publications. It's well worth the read and the slim volume would make a perfect holiday gift paired with an
...more
Lenka
Feb 04, 2017 Lenka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to think about this; love books, love food, but I'm probably not the right person to read about loving food.
Sara Pereira
an amazing book. she has a very fluid writting, which makes it very easy to read. english not being by first language, i am always afraid of coming across a book with difficult vocabulary, exotic words and awkward sentences - this book doesn't have any of that.

it narratives ressembles stories told by an aunt or family friend when they pop by our house for quick visit.

interesting topics, nice tricks and recipes and an amazing life story.

highly recommended.
Aisyah
Nov 07, 2013 Aisyah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bless M.F.K Fisher, bless her soul. All the stories in this just sang to me and they hit all the right notes. Her wit and her passion for food and eating is so apparent in her writings. I've read a number of food writing and I enjoyed most of them but nothing compares to Ms. Fisher. She is an inspiration, truly.
Dottie
I think this one didn't hit me quite as those of M.F.K. Fisher's own writings as they unfold in the original published volumes. Some loss of continuity of theme or thought due to the selection process or the arrangement, maybe? That is not to say that the individual essays are not vintage and fine Fisher musings on food and other related matters.
Anna
Aug 19, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes to be happy.
Recommended to Anna by: the travel bookshelf on 3rd.
I picked this up in the Travel Bookshelf on 3rd down the street from me (great place, go check it out) and I am SO HAPPY I DID. M.F.K. Fisher is a beautiful writer, she conjures images for me I haven't had elsewhere and made me think about my life...all while talking about the simple joy of a raw oyster. Also, she made me extremely hungry.
Asya
Jan 08, 2014 Asya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The three stars are not for Fisher but for this collection, which is too sporadic and rather unfocused. Fisher's voice and passion and charm carries it off, but no thanks to the curatorship of the essays. On the other hand, we should be grateful her work is in print and seeing such renewed interest.
Lestari Hairul
Nov 19, 2013 Lestari Hairul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best stories are the first two, and the one about the kitchens she's had in France through the years. They made me hungry, not just for food but for the pleasure in cooking (and also a bit of travelling).
Nancy
Jan 04, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet gathering of some of the writings of MFK Fisher. I had heard so much about her I was glad to find this collection. Very short though.... makes you hungry for more. And... proves the adage - the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mysteryfan
A collection of essays about eggs, potatoes, oysters, wine, dining, cooking .... in short, a very good sampler of Fisher's writing. Her descriptions are positively luxurious. If you haven't read her before, this is a good introduction.
Meredith Walker
This is a small volume that celebrates her food in all of its guises. “Two Kitchens in Provence” in particular is lush with lyrical description to awaken the gastronomic senses in way that Frances Mayes took readers to rustic Italy in “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
Mycala
Jan 21, 2014 Mycala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection of essays by M.F.K. Fisher. I wish I had known her -- she was bright, witty and she knew her wine.
Nora Strang
Jan 30, 2012 Nora Strang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing to think of the history of this woman's writing/experiences. She set the standard for all food writers, let alone women. Succulent.
Kathrine
May 23, 2015 Kathrine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable essays on culinary experiences. Quite funny in places and great sense of the author's personality in the writing.
Danielle
This chick loves food almost as much as I do but certainly writes about it much more eloquently.
Kristin
This just happened to be in the recipe/food section at the library and it seemed interesting so I picked it up. Easy, 100-page read.
Lisa F
Mar 30, 2013 Lisa F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delicious, pure and simple.
Ioana Negulescu
Dec 05, 2016 Ioana Negulescu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An impressively funny and honest book, as relevant today as it was back in Fischer's days. A must read for foodies and not only.
Laurie Neighbors
A sweet collection of MFKF essays that leave you wanting more MFKF essays.
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Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was a prolific and well-respected writer, writing more than 20 books during her lifetime and also publishing two volumes of journals and correspondence shortly before her death in 1992. Her first book, Serve it Forth, was published in 1937. Her books deal primarily with food, considering it from many aspects: preparation, natural history, culture, and philosophy. Fisher ...more
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“I used to think in my Russian-novel days, that I would cherish a lover who managed through thick and thin, snow and sleet, to have a bunch of Parma violets on my breakfast tray each morning--also rain or shine, Christmas or August, and onward into complete Neverland. Later, I shifted my dream plan--a split of cold champagne one half hour before the tray! Violets, sparkling wine, and trays themselves were as nonexistent as the lover(s), of course, but once again, Why not?” 1 likes
“when our boulevards are lined with an infinity of bad eating houses filled with dead-faced people placed like mute beasts in their stalls; today, when one out of every three marriages ends in divorce ... It seems incredible that normal human beings not only tolerate the average American restaurant food, but actually prefer it to eating at home. The only possible explanation for such deliberate mass-poisoning, a kind of suicide of the spirit as well as the body, is that meals in the intimacy of a family dining-room or kitchen are unbearable.” 1 likes
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