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Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  320 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A glorious, edible tour of Paris through six decades of writing from Gourmet magazine, edited and introduced by Ruth Reichl

For sixty years the best food writers have been sending dispatches from Paris to Gourmet. Collected here for the first time, their essays create a unique and timeless portrait of the world capital of love and food. When the book begins, just after the
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 2004)
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This book's title should actually be Paris in the 1960s and 1970s, Described by Joseph Wechsberg and Naomi Berry. And therein lies the problem.

I expected, from the subtitle and from the other Gourmet collection I've read, to find here a variety of writers covering the full time span. And, technically, this book has both - seventeen authors (although that's a ludicrously small number for a 350 page anthology of short magazine pieces), and, well, if not quite sixty years, close. But the book is 8
Catherine Woodman
I bought this, and several other books in the Food Modern Library series after reading Ruth Reichl's edited edition, Endless Feasts--and I had high hopes for this volume, but it turns out that indeed, I do not love Paris, it is France that I love. I read it in France, and was very much loving the things about France that I hold dear, so it was not a 'far removed' sort of problem. I do agree with my spouse, that the first 50 pages are very slow and it gets much much better after that, and there w ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I Love Ruth Reichl! I love her autobiographies! I loved her term as editor for Gourmet.

If I had a "Bucket List", Paris, its bistro's, cafes and wonderful culture would be at the top of my list.

So, are you wondering why I have two stars posted? Because, if it were not for Ruth Ruth, I would have given it one. This book was, for the most part, a huge disappointment. The earlier writers for Gourmet were listless... more like food reporters. Dull, blah, blah, blah. Maybe, for its time, this was exci
Aug 24, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of beautifully written love letters to the dining experience in Paris. If you've never been it will give you a taste of the city, and if you have been it will remind of it's greatness.
Brooke Everett
Aug 01, 2015 Brooke Everett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
This coming September, I'm heading to Paris for the first time ever and I could not be more excited. Belon oysters and Sancerre! Deep history imbued with the magic of so many great artists and icons! And more oysters!

Being the perpetual student that I am, I'm taking my "studying" very seriously prior to this trip. I want to arrive informed about not only where to find the greatest and best foie gras, but also about the city's pantheon of incredible restaurants and chefs.

This book really made it
Anne Green
How could a Francophile food writer not be intrigued by a collection of sixty years of food writing about Paris? I looked forward to reading this book with keen anticipation and on the whole it didn't disappoint. Compiled by Ruth Reichl, for many years the editor in chief in Gourmet Magazine, it's an anthology of dispatches to Gourmet Magazine from various columnists based in Paris. It covers a period of sixty years, spanning the years immediately post World War 2 to the early 2000s. As Ruth Rei ...more
Sep 14, 2016 Bess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure it was good. I mean, how could I not love this? A food memoir about Paris? It's like they know me!

Except... I just didn't love it. In fact, I got through the first 5 or so essays and then decided that someone else would love it a whole lot more.
Nov 26, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of essays from Gourmet magazine, but is not all about food--architecture, fashion, recent Parisian history, and other subjects are covered as well, although there are lots of yummy food and descriptions and plenty of restaurants reviewed, of course. There are even recipes from great chefs, which one can read guilt-free because usually the ingredients are unobtainable (rendered goose fat? in Provo, Utah?), but they sound delicious (and time-consuming). Most of all this b ...more
”This is living history, vibrant and unself-conscious, and it offers an amazing opportunity to watch an entire civilization transform itself and move into what will become the present” p. xii

I appreciate what Reichl is saying in her introduction to these magazine articles. Reading across the years may give you a way of seeing what is going on in a place in the present. Unfortunately, these essays did not do that for me. I was entertained by some of these articles, but many of them left me unmove
Mostly, this book was very entertaining, albeit pretentious, but it's divided into essays which are super easy to read through on the subway. It's my favorite kind of commuting literature - short & sweet & easy to pick up. "A Memory of Alice B. Toklas" is delightful, funny, warm and fascinating; I'm going on a mad search for more pieces by Naomi Berry because of it.

"Grand Masters," on the other hand, by Jonathan Gold is at times grossly greedy in terms of food descriptors. I felt as tho
This book seems like it should be right up my alley. I love food and I love Paris. The essays, though, focus on a rarified slice of Paris that I just cannot relate to. One of the articles extolls the virtues of high French cuisine and says that "low cost bistros" like Les Bookinistes are not much better than the cafes in New York. The author simultaneously slammed New York and said a restaurant with an 80 euro tasting menu is "low cost."

The essays that appealed to me were either on the history
Jul 29, 2014 JodiP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this at the Friends of the Library Store and just had to buy it. It was mostly delightful; I especially loved reading about each post-war period. Soem of the later pieces were a bit too much abut the great restaurants, one after another, that were not that compelling. I also enjoyed the stories about Alice B. Toklas and Collette. I really wish I could travel back in time to experience Las Halles when it was in the city. The writing was superb, of course, and learning about the amaz ...more
I was expecting to love this book, but alas I do not love it like I love Paris.
Granted it was interesting but more often than not i was bored and skimmed through some of the essays.
I gave it three stars because it was fun reading about the restaurants that have been a part of Paris for decades, if not centuries.
I made a list of restaurants that were written about years ago and are still around today.
Hopefully I can try them all at one point in my life.
But basically it was too long for me to enjo
Feb 13, 2015 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foodie-shelf
Here is another we gave to Tim's Mom, this one was for Mother's Day 2011 I believe. She read it quickly and gave it back to us, I forgot to ask her what she thought of it. Tim's Mom is French (born in Jacksonville, Oregon of French immigrant parents). She has been to France three times and keeps up with her relatives there. I don't know when we will get to this book and we will eventually!
Wayne Laney
Jul 21, 2013 Wayne Laney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paris, Gourmet, and Ruth Reichl: what's not to like? This is a wonderfully well-selected collection of pieces from several decades of Gourmet magazine. It is perhaps most enjoyable read slowly, a few articles at a sitting. There are descriptive passages among these articles that are some of the most evocative of places in Paris that I have ever read.
Carol J.
Jan 18, 2013 Carol J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As editor of Gourmet Magazine, Ruth Reichl compiles a selection of wonderful articles on food and eating in Paris for this book. Famous restaurants, bistro culture, great recipes, vignettes about eccentric chefs, French attitudes and culture....entertaining and fun and just plain made me want to go to go back to Paris!
Virginia Albanese
Didn't check this out well and thought it was going to be writings of Ruch Reichle. Instead it is writings of several food editors, critics and correspondents about their experiences in Paris related to food. I must say it is strange to feel intimidated by just reading about famous resturants and their snobism.
Jan 11, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredibly fabulous book. I loved reading all the many stories of writers various experiences in Paris through the decades.

For someone who loves Paris, this is a must read and will make you want to go back to Paris and seek out some of the spots that are mentioned.
Dec 30, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: francophiles, gourmets, and dreamers
Recommended to Sarah by: Jen
A great book to dip into on a Grey and cold winter evening. Dream of meals that you could be making and gorgeous French men who could be escorting you into restaurants to feast on oysters and veau blanquette instead of sitting in your nightie with the cat eating soft boiled eggs.
Sep 10, 2007 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not what I expected, and not in a good way. With Reichl's name on the cover, I thought there would be some commentary/eassay by her woven through the book, but there isn't. Will give it another shot, though, to see if I like it better with realistic expectations.
Nov 29, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-travel
Having enjoyed Ruth Reichl's previous books, I was disappointed in this collection of essays by Gourmets writers over the years. I think it would have been more enjoyable if I had been to Paris.
A collection of articles from Gourmet magazine on French culture,specificly on food. It's a decent read,but read with a full stomach,because the decription of the food will make you hungry.
Anne Goodstein
Jul 01, 2012 Anne Goodstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want an off the beaten path view of paris taken from different angles at different moments, you need to read this. One commun denominator: food or should I say cuisine?
Ruth Feathers
Oct 01, 2014 Ruth Feathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story about Alice Toklas made the book for me. I've read old copies of Gourmet magazine with her letters from Paris, always wished that I could have met her. And of course I have her cookbook.
Good but slow moving - I couldn't encourage myself to pick it up frequently enough to finish it, but it's not a bad read for sure.
Rachel Rogers
Jun 04, 2011 Rachel Rogers rated it really liked it
Read this several years ago and remember it fondly. One of the first books about food and cooking that I picked up.
May 21, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this collection, even though there were one or two pieces I wasn't quite as into. It gave a nice historic sense of Paris and food writing.
Mary Kay
Jan 27, 2014 Mary Kay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
I didn't realize this book would be so detailed with Paris in the 20's etc. Prefer reading about Paris NOW. Picked
Up book because of author Ruth Reichl.
A.H. Evan
A.H. Evan rated it really liked it
May 02, 2016
Judy Amster
Judy Amster rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2012
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Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library.
Born to parents Ernst and Miriam (née Brudno), she was raised in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal. She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis. She graduated in 1970 with a M.A. in art history
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