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Comment: Has a note to the previous owner but no other writing, underlining, or highlighting Good readable copy. Shows wear but not excessively. NOT EX LIBRARY.
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French Fried: The Culinary Capers Of An American In Paris Hardcover – March 7, 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Here are two culinary memoirs by American women now living in France. The similarities end there, as one author went to France for the food and stayed for the life that grew up around her, while the other moved to France for its own sake and realized that she'd better learn to cook once she became engaged to a Frenchman. In On Rue Tatin, Loomis, a food writer and an accomplished cook, recalls her initial journey to Paris to attend cooking school. Her apprenticeship at La Varenne cole de Cuisine led to a job as an assistant to food writer Patricia Wells and a lifelong fascination with French cooking and culture. Eventually, in 1994, she and her family permanently settled in a medieval convent on Rue Tatin in the Norman town of Louviers. Interspersed with her lyrical descriptions of daily life in urban and rural France are 50 recipes from a simple frittata to a complex pot au feu culled from both famous chefs and the local fish seller. The author prepares most of the dishes in her own home, and American readers should be able to do the same in a well-equipped kitchen though they may have trouble finding a leg of wild boar at their local supermarket. In French Fried, Rochefort (French Toast) writes about how her obsession with French food became a personal one when her French husband-to-be announced that they could not afford to keep eating in restaurants for the rest of their lives. There are a few recipes, most of them for "basics" such as vinaigrette or homemade mayonnaise. More of a general commentary on life in France as seen through its cuisine (one helpful tip for tourists: don't go into a restaurant and order only a salad or a sandwich because this is something you do in a caf ; restaurants are for meals), French Fried is the book to purchase if your patrons are looking for an informal travel guide. Buy both books if you are able; and if you regularly answer reference questions about the cooking of wild boar, you'll definitely need On Rue Tatin. Wendy Bethel, Southwest P.L., Grove City, OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Harriet Welty Rochefort grew up in Iowa, but she has lived in France for the last thirty years. In French Fried , her second volume recounting the vicissitudes of daily life among the French, she brings her well-developed sense of humor to bear on topics such as the French waiter in all his professional hauteur, the Gallic passion for organ meats, and the new culture of the hypermarket. This single-destination source for everything from fine foods to stereos to running shoes has transformed the way many French do their customary daily shopping. Rochefort's recounting of wine-tastings with Alain Ducasse's sommelier puts good wine service in sound perspective. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312261497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312261498
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rochefort's follow-up to "French Toast" focuses on the culinary differences between America and France, which have lead to huge differences in culture, lifestyle, and waistlines. With a breezy style and self-deprecating wit, she demystifies what the French cook, how they cook it, how they eat it, and how it enhances the pleasures of life. Surely one of the pleasures in life is relaxing with this book and a nice glass of red wine.
It's been an interesting experience to read this book (a celebration of good food, good wine, and a high quality of life) alongside Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation" (a wonderfully written and thoroughly depressing exploration of the rise of fast food in the U.S. during the latter half of the 20th century and its impact on our culture). Rochefort, too, warns of the encroachment of McDonalds and other American fast-food enterprises on the French culinary landscape; she notes that she hopes her observations of French cuisine will not serve as a memorial of such an inherent part of French culture. Reading these two books side-by-side guarantees that you will never eat fast food again. And to make certain of that, Rochefort includes several tried-and-true French recipes. The ones I've tried have been simple and delicious!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book! It is a sincerely written account of Ms. Rochefort's adaptation to her life in France and of her efforts to find the essence of French cuisine. She examines her midwestern roots and American habits as she learns, step by step, what French food really is. And that is not so much fancy dishes and rich sauces as it is an attitude - a reverence of food, from its preparation to its place on the table. Since so much time is taken up where food is involved it takes on a much more significant role in French family & social life, French culture in general, than it does in the US.
Ms. Rochefort's lighthearted and amusing touch is certainly deceiving. Her account of this discovery seems to be written from the heart as she describes her first years in France, then motherhood, and her attempts to find her place with her French in-laws, and finally interviews with the paragons of French gastronomy. By the end of the book it is interesting to see what significance these culinary capers have for her and how much she cares about French food. And how much we can learn by reading the book!
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By A Customer on August 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved the author's self-deprecating humor as she tells the story of her love of French food and shares the wealth of information she has gleaned both from living in France for three decades and from talking with some of the foremost people in France's food world. After reading what she says about cheese, I can't wait for my next trip to France to feast on some "real" Brie. Meanwhile, her tips on what makes a good cheese plate have been put to use as have her simple but delicious recipes. After a spate of books from food "experts", most of whom couldn't mix up a simple green salad, this book is a gem.
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Format: Hardcover
You might think this book is a witty and insightful guide to understanding the differences between American and French cuisine. Wrong! It is a pretentious and boring tale of Ms. Welty Rochefort's adventures of cooking and eating in France as an American. It is an idea that could have been executed wonderfully in a short story or magazine article; as a book, it's far too long and repetitive. Her writing is riddled with stereotype after stereotype: American families don't know how to sit down for a meal, they are either obsessed with eating fat-free foods or they are obese, they can't enjoy eating, they serve dinner guests things like hamburgers and hot dogs and don't know how to treat their guests right. Yawn. It seems as though Rochefort believes her typical reader is a clueless American who wouldn't know brie from Velveeta, and if you don't mind the condescending tone, perhaps you might enjoy hearing all about her, her family, her experiences, her mishaps, and so on. It's like listening to "When I was a girl..." stories from your grandmother for seven hours straight. You have been warned!
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Format: Hardcover
If you equate France with good food and you'd like a delectable read, I highly recommend "French Fried," an ode to the French love of all good things, food-wise (bread, wine, cheese and sweets) and soul-wise (sweets again, this time chocolate; pampering of body and soul, and the long and pleasurable French meal).
Ms Welty-Rochefort has done her homework with interviews, visits, on-site trials, tastings and classes with all the top bakers, pastry chefs, restaurateurs, wine, champagne and cheese makers.
Her section on making the famous chocolate Opéra layer cake at the Le Nôtre Culinary Academy, a four-hour process, will have you running to France to buy one! As her French sister-in-law points out: "That's a cake you BUY!"
But most of all, it's a personal account by someone who soon becomes like a friend, as she shares her very real experience of adapting to France, sprinkled with lots of hints on doing things the French way.
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Format: Hardcover
A thoughtful, humorous peek under the covers of French culture. Her candid take on the pleasures and difficulties of living in Paris makes for a relaxed and informative read. As soon as I finished French Fried, I ordered her other book, French Toast, and loved it also. These are a must-read for even a casual traveler to France.
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