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Good Bread Is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the Way It Is Made, and the People Who Make It Hardcover – December 20, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
This is THE BOOK I've been waiting for. This is the history of French bread, it's for people like my husband and I who have been trying to perfect the perfect baguette for years. Literally YEARS. I have looked at Raymond Calvel's The Taste of Bread on google books, but you can't read the entire thing on it, so this may possibly be my next purchase after the Kaplan book.
If you are into the history of the baguette and want to know how baguettes caused, yes CAUSED the French Revolution then this is your book. I am also interested in how the French reacted during WW2 when they were forced to use inferior German flour instead of French flour and were making, once again, terrible baguettes. I have heard that the French were very depressed about the state of the baguette during that period and that the art of making baguettes was lost....
Some people to THIS DAY state that the taste of baguettes went downhill after the war, that the bakers no longer made the great bread that they had made before the war. Mr. Calvel and subsequently Mr. Kaplan set out to try and reverse this. Raymond Calvel worked diligently to bring back the recipes and the ways that the French had used before the entire horrible episode of WW2.
Raymond Calvel was also Julia Child's teacher at the Cordon Bleu, and he was one of the inspirations for Mr. Kaplan and this book. Mr. Kaplan is an incredible treasure, a bread historian...who is very respected in France (!) though he is American.
This book was very disappointing. While seemingly well researched with interesting quotes and facts at times, it's painfully intellectual and meandering, and I had a hard time telling where the author was going in the parts I was able to read. The author should consider that a similar renaissance to the bread he loves is required in how people write history - history is a STORY, and usually it can be a really incredible story with the right writer. But reading this overwhelmed me with a stuffy, university dullness that didn't evoke any of the feelings of a complex history, or the current food renaissance that is taking place. The topic of the industrialization of our food, in particular in the country with one of the richest and most varied traditions (France), is too important to not be taken up by another more capable author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was looking for something written in french in the mid 19thc century about the relationship between bakers, farmers and the villagers.Published on December 18, 2013 by Ann Danowitz
A subject that I would really like to know more about but I just couldn't get into this. Is it badly edited? Very hard to follow,Published on March 3, 2013 by kitinthehat
This book is so wordy that I gave up on it long before getting to any good stuff - if I would have found any good stuff. The book needs good editing.Published on July 18, 2010 by E. mollen