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Food of France
Waverley Root
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Food of France

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
While this might sound like a cookbook, it's actually a travelogue focusing on the foods of various regions in France. Instead of providing information on what visitors should see during their travels, Waverly Root reveals what they should eat. Root, who made his living as a foreign correspondent and has written several volumes on his penchant for food, is an excellent gui ...more
Published December 1st 1958 by Alfred A. Knopf
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21 October 2016: I just finished reading La vie et la passion de Dodin-Bouffant and the experience reminded me of how much I enjoyed Waverley Root's book.

Original Review

Mr Root's overarching theory is that French food can be divided into the three culinary domains of fat, butter and oil. The Food of France reflects this belief and is similarly divided into three main sections, each chapter within a section dealing with the geographical/culinary regions within each domain. Within this structur
Apr 15, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truely beautiful... Gruff in nature, the author brings to me the France I live in. That another American could find the true nature of France , brings me joy.
Jan 14, 2014 Mackay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, travel
This was my father's favorite book. It's an entertaining, opinionated tour of the France filtered through food and food traditions of each region (the regions being defined by cuisine, not politics). While Root had some very odd opinions (he didn't like Champagne and didn't think it paired well with any food !!!????!!!!, whereas he liked the revolting, horrid-smelling sausage andouiette, which is made with tripe, among other things), his writing about and love of the food and wine of France is c ...more
I do not know how to rate this, as reading it is unlike any other reading I do. I provides a very good overview of how French cuisine is organized, some specifics to ground the idea of terroir in practices, and some narrative of his own experiences eating and drinking around the country.

In places, it goes back to ancient Greece, and in other places it's current up to the 1950s. It's didactic, sometimes over-explained, and not arranged for narrativity or pleasure reading per se. Yet, I'm glad to
Diane C.
Oct 28, 2010 Diane C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I read only about the first 3rd of this is so dense with wonderful information, and can't really be read straight through, cover to cover, but used as a reference of French culinary history. It was written in the late 50's, so is not a current where-to-go what-to-eat in France, but well worth reading to gain a fundamental understanding of French cuisine.

I'll buy this book, and happily read a chapter here and there for years.
Nov 15, 2015 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a little bit of everything. History (both natural and human), geography, sociology, recipes, adamant opinions, and lovely descriptions of landscapes. I mostly let the details wash over me, and I don't think I really learned a lot. But if ever I get the chance to travel the French countryside, this book will have been my inspiration for doing so, and I will want a copy with me.

Grasse sounds right for me: land of lavender, perfume, and candied flowers. Sign me up.
Feb 28, 2014 Tomixaroma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read even after so many years. I love how Root, even though he's American, doesn't come across as Mr know-it-all who wants to tell the French how to cook (I guess that's a more recent thing in "food literature")
Dec 08, 2015 Salvatore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant travelogue through the lens of food and farming and food production that clearly no longer exists. Brilliant and entertaining writing.
Thu Tran
Jun 15, 2007 Thu Tran is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I've set this book down for a minute. But again, an extrememly comprehensive history of french cuisine.
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