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Joie De Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living Hardcover – May 1, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Joie de Vivre, Robert Arbor, a Frenchman transplanted to New York City, explains the French philosophy on life and argues for its adoption by stressed Americans. In a funny way, this is sort of a self-help book for people who admire the French lifestyle, and for those who believe that good food is the secret to a happy life. The premise of the book is that you will find "domestic happiness" when you learn to enjoy the most mundane details of your everyday life: "It's about making time for family, growing some vegetables in your garden, chatting with the butcher, and cooking for your family and friends." Quality of life, explains Arbor, is only improved when your pillowcases smell like lavender, and you make your own hot chocolate.

Although there are 50 recipes dispersed throughout the book, Joie de Vivre is not a cookbook. Most of the recipes are for dishes like A Really Good Fried Egg, mayonnaise, and café au lait, but there are interesting as well, such as Carrot Râpée, Beet Vinaigrette, and Fish in Papillotte. The recipes are included more as a way to better describe the French experience and to show how easy it is to adopt as a way of life; a method which works particularly well for those of us who know that the best way to understand and appreciate a foreign culture is through its food. --Leora Y. Bloom

From Booklist

Despite the current political rupture between France and the U.S., Americans continue to look to the French for inspiration in matters culinary. For both medical and aesthetic reasons, the French diet has proved attractive to Americans with its emphasis on seasonal fresh meats and produce, its wine consumption, and its avoidance of snacks. Restaurateur Robert Arbor and writer Katherine Whiteside outline the basics of the French diet in Joie de Vivre, a paean to all things Gallic. They recall the simple delights of Arbor's upbringing: toasted bread, cafe au lait, roasted chicken, aperitifs, Sunday lunch, cheese, and hot chocolate. They describe the simplicity of the French kitchen that eschews multiple appliances for some workaday pots, a good stove, and sharp knives. The authors remark on the virtual absence of baking in the home, the French relying on local vendors for the best in breads and pastries. Recipes cover the fundamentals of French cooking, avoiding complicated stews in favor of simple mayonnaise, roast chicken, fried eggs, and whipped cream. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.67 pounds
  • Hardcover : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0743223535
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0743223539
  • Product Dimensions : 7.38 x 0.9 x 9.13 inches
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 66 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
66 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2009
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Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2003
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35 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2009
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 11, 2019
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Barbara I. Burman
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely Book if you Like The French way of life
Reviewed in Canada on November 17, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Reviewed in Canada on July 16, 2014
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