The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition (Anglais) Broché – Edition spéciale, 20 février 2004
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Présentation de l'éditeur
"Mary Frances [Fisher] has the extraordinary ability to make the ordinary seem rich and wonderful. Her dignity comes from her absolute insistence on appreciating life as it comes to her."
"How wonderful to have here in my hands the essence of M.F.K. Fisher, whose wit and fulsome opinions on food and those who produce it, comment upon it, and consume it are as apt today as they were several decades ago, when she composed them. Why did she choose food and hunger she was asked, and she replied, 'When I write about hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth, and the love of it . . . and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied.' This is the stuff we need to hear, and to hear again and again."
"This comprehensive volume should be required reading for every cook. It defines in a sensual and beautiful way the vital relationship between food and culture."
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Dans ce livre(En savoir plus)
THERE are two kinds of books about eating: those that try to imitate Brillat-Savarin's, and those that try not to. Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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This book is a compilation of her most famous works "Consider the Oyster," "Serve It Forth," "How to Cook a Wolf," "The Gastronomical Me" and "An Alphabet for Gourmets." Each is quite different. "How to Cook a Wolf" is about cooking in times of want, in this case, World War II, but the book really becomes semi-autobiographical and talks about her young days in Dijon, where she was the wife of a student at the University.
If you haven't read M.F.K. Fisher, this is probably the best book to start with--it combines memoir with culinary musings; advice on scrambled eggs with her own ideas about health and nutrition. If you then can't get enough of Fisher, I recommend, "The Measure of Her Powers" which is much more autobiographical and utterly fascinating.
I actually read Fisher more for her memoirs. Her fascination with food and cooking is to me about life and art,--the French view of food not as something merely to fill the belly, but as an art form and a craft.
There are two types of cookbook authors: those who did not follow a drive to become apothecaries and instead wound up in a kitchen. Now they issue a prescriptive formulary of carefully controlled measures, procedures, times, weights, and ingredients (no substitutions, please) in precise, neat, humorless texts: recipes by edict, if you will; and those who under other circumstances would have become poets or novelists, but instead wound up in the kitchen, from whence they issue lyrical prose as well as exquisite dishes. Their recipes are often vague, permissive, infuriating, but tolerant of errors. There are many who fit the first category and few (MFK Fisher among them) the second.
There are two ways of comparing cookbooks: by following recipes for highly complex dishes (beef Wellington, say) and tasting the results, or by following extremely simple recipes from each book and making gustatory comparisons (scrambled eggs, for instance). Scrambled eggs, according to general culinary wisdom, requires that eggs be beaten together "until the white and yolks are completely combined" (Joy of Cooking) or to be whisked briskly (Fanny Farmer).
Ms. Fisher starts by addressing the state of mind of the cook before embarking in the scrambling of the eggs: "This concotion" she comments "is obviously a placid one, never to be attempted by a nervous, harried [person], one anxious to slap something on the table and get it over with...I love this recipe, for its very gentleness, and for the demands it makes upon one's patience, and the homage it deserves from its slow tasting."
I have used her recipe many times, and my guests become awestruck by the results. I cook the eggs even slower than she suggests (it takes me at least 45 minutes or even a little longer, when she recommends 30 minutes). You and your guests will never want to eat beaten scrambled eggs, ever again, after tasting MFK Fisher's version of this dish.
If you ever cook, do read this book.
I read this book over the course of three months, an essay or two at a time. It's not just about food, but about the people who love to eat good food, to make it, to grow it, to harvest it, to travel in search of it. It's about some wonderful places in the world, some now long gone, or spoiled, and some still well worth a visit.
You'll find that you remember some of M.F.K. Fisher's stories long after you've put the book down. You'll tell these stories to others and win smiles and laughter. You'll haul the book out and read aloud from it. Your friends will ask to borrow your copy.
You will tell them to get their own.
There are drawbacks to the work, however. By gathering five different books into a single volume, a certain amount of repetition of some of her material becomes apparent. This is, of course, more the fault of the editor than of Fischer herself. No, Fischer's faults lie perhaps in a certain over-emphasis on the "sensitivity" of herself and her loved ones as contrasted with the rest of us Ya-hoos, and that she wrote before the emergence of American regional cuisine as a force in cookery, so that she sometimes denigrates things we feel more kindly toward today.
In all, though, The Art of Eating is a book that no serious cook or diner can afford to do without