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Far Flung and Well Fed: The Food Writing of R.W. Apple, Jr. Hardcover – September 29, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Written in the decade before his untimely death in 2006, this compilation showcases more than 50 engaging, food-centric travel essays by longtime New York Times writer R.W. (Johnny) Apple. The grandiose dispatches cover the U.S.'s best soft-shell crabs, the most authentic kosher corned beef and the finest cherry pie. Internationally, he dubs Singapore a dim sum nirvana, compares Naples without its tomatoes to salt without pepper and finds Dover sole like a porterhouse steak. Apple's legendary expense account fuels an enormous and discriminating appetite, and his journalistic instincts guide an impressive selection of experts in support of Apple's decisive interpretations, including one Philadelphia editor who authoritatively explains the die-off of Philadelphia's pepper pot soup, but not its cheese steaks. These instructive, well-chosen tidbits convey vivid, sociological portraits of cities, regions and countries, places infused with regional vernacular that is both spoken and eaten. With such stature and scholarship, he can make Dickensian references in describing both English porridge and Italian buffalo mozzarella sound natural. Similarly, only Apple can get away with using words like toothsome, unctuous, and delectable without sounding like a public relations sham masquerading as a food critic. While Apple's air of superiority can be hard to take, his incisive, insistent writing often remains far superior to the rest of its kind. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

In a time when the bookshelves and small screen are filled with globe-trotting food personalities, Apple brings something special to the mix.”—The Denver Post

"With R.W. Apple, Jr., triumph is a given. He approaches food writing the same way he approached political reporting or war reporting or parachuting in."--Calvin Trillin in The New Yorker

“Johnny Apple’s magnetic writing about food makes it crystal clear why food ought to matter as much to the rest of us as it meant to him: He understood that food is the purest expression of human culture. And he knew that what will save us in the end is the embrace of food diversity in all its cultural and biological splendor.” --Alice Waters, Chez Panisse

 “As much as Johnny Apple loved politics, he might have loved food even more. He loved searching for it, learning about it, writing about it, and most of all, eating it. This classic collection of food writing from one of The New York Times' most renowned writers deserves to be on the shelf -- or kitchen table or in the travel bag -- of each and every foodie.” —Nina and Tim Zagat, Zagat Survey

"There will never again be someone as robustly brilliant at both table and typewriter as Johnny Apple. Taken together as a menu degustation, the full magnificence of this erudite explorer emerges.  I hope that anyone with a hedonistic appetite for life, learning, flavor, places, people, and passion will keep this book by their bedside for a nightly feeding and smile."--Danny Meyer, author of Setting the Table

Can anyone resist the work of a writer who could both thrill to a thrush pate in a French gastronomic temple and also get giddy over…the ideal Philly cheesesteak? Well, I suppose some people could, but I’d never want to have dinner with them.”--Fortune

 

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312325770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312325770
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By J. Brown on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Newly released, this book is a great collection of legendary New York Times writer Johnny Apple's best food pieces from around the world. Apple covered wars, elections, food and travel for the Times for over 40 years and was a judge for the James Beard awards, among many other accomplishments. His captivating writing tells the story of a dish or ingredient in the context of culture, history and the land. Exploring the story of dishes from around the globe, this is a phenomenal example of food and travel writing at their best.

Tim and Nina Zagat (of Zagat's Guide fame) wrote: "As much as Johnny Apple loved politics, he might have loved food even more. He loved searching for it, learning about it, writing about it, and most of all, eating it. This classic collection of food writing from one of The New York Times's most renowned writers deserves to be on the shelf-or kitchen table or in the travel bag-of each and every foodie."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This compilation is a wonderful compendium of Johnny Apple's writing about food. Fans will not be disappointed and readers who newly discover his writing will be enthralled with the stories about chefs, growers, and purveyors of all shapes and sizes. Because the book is made up of individual newspaper and magazine articles, it is an easy read and one that can be put down and picked up without losing a step.
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Format: Paperback
I usually finish every book I start. I only made it until about page 80 when I realized I no longer had any interest in reading about food - not my cup of tea, so to speak. That's why I'm still giving the book 4 starts rather than fewer. It may have been more me than the book; then again, had it offered more I may have finished it and given it five stars. What I did read was good, though not great. Apple does a good job of describing the various locales where he chows down. He manages to get the essence of a place in a few and memorable sentences. An example of this is his characterization of Baltimore, Maryland as an essentially working class culture, despite having one of the elite educational institutions - Johns Hopkins - in its midst. Frankly, I tended to lose track of all the descriptions of the various foods, but there were some that captivated me enough to want to try them - scrapple, for example. The other thing that comes across clearly is the passion that the various restaurant and shop owners, as well as farmers and other growers have for their product and their profession. It made me aware of how complex and demanding jobs are that tend not to be in the forefront of our minds. Perhaps other readers will follow through to the end. This reader got full rather early.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Apple's writings are most enjoyable to read, and the book takes you along on numerous exciting culinary travels. I highly recommend it.
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A must read for all foodies. I even found a website some excellent Irish smoked salmon at a good price.
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