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A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France Hardcover – March 1, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR A PIG IN PROVENCE
 
"You can almost smell the lavender as you follow Brennan's love affair with the province that became her second home and shaped the culinary persona of this cooking teacher and food author. Brennan is a talented storyteller."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Georgeanne Brennan's captivating memoir reminds me of why I, too, was enchanted by Provence. She beautifully captures the details of living in a place where the culture of the table ties a community together—where everyone knows the butcher and the baker, and everyone depends on the farmers."—Alice Waters, owner, Chez Panisse
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Published in hardcover by Chronicle Books, 2007, 978-0-8118-5213-5/0-8118-5213-X
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081185213X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811852135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Amaro on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic story about one woman's introduction to and exploration of life in Provence. The book takes you on a culinary journey through the region, with beautiful introductions to specialties of the area. Each chapter features a different major Provence food: truffles, goat cheese, garlic, etc and ends with a recipe that has been featured in the narrative. For those who want understand the relationship between the land, the food, and the people of Provence, this book is highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A PIG IN PROVENCE: GOOD FOOD AND SIMPLE PLEASURES IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE tells of a habitual France vacationer who decides to buy a small farmhouse deep in the backcountry. Thirty years later she tells the story of her life in Provence: a story that revolves around seasonal change, culinary specialties, and fun stories of the foodways and culture of the region. Any fan of Provence or French culinary traditions will find this gentle story revealing and appealing, and libraries catering to Francophiles will also find it a popular lend.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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Format: Hardcover
What an interesting, informative, and lovely culinary memoir! Georgeanne Brennan was a true trailblazer by going off to Provence with her family in the early 70's, at the height of the Vietnam War. This wasn't mere escapism--it was an attempt to get back to the land and learn what culinary traditions are all about (since most of those traditions in the U.S. were getting lost in the post-WWII industrialization of food production). Reading about the seasonal celebrations and ceremonies that are embedded in Provencal history is truly fascinating through the eyes of an American. Add to that a classic recipe at the end of each chapter that pertains to what you've just read preceeding it, and you have the perfect summer travel lit read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If I hadn't been such a Francophile, and if I didn't adore Provence, I'd have given this book 2 stars. The positives are the wonderful food descriptions, the simple recipes she tags on to each chapter, and me, as armchair traveller, back in Provence again. So if you are not like me, this book is not for you.

The negatives are, unfortunately, many. First of all Georgeanne jumps around in time far too much. It gets confusing. I do think a memoir should be fairly chronological. Then there is little about the towns of Provence: I miss the colourful descriptions I came across in other, similar books. Georgeanne's style, unfortunately, is somewhat lacklustre. I missed the sparkle which should have been there.

Information and description of people are there, but too thin on the ground. She mentions Donald, her first husband, frequently, but she never gives him a word of dialogue or a mind of his own, so he stays a mere paper cutout and not a real person at all.

I badly missed the more intimate details of her own life, which really should be what a memoir is about. She mentions a second husband, Jim, but we never learn (can you believe) what happened to Donald. Did they divorce or did he die? She does not tell us how Jim came into her life. In the end we also do not know what happened to her children as adults. It's as if Georgeanne went out of her way to keep any personal information a secret -- what a pity. One can reveal one's real life without compromising too much privacy. So a more detailed telling of her own life story would have made this book much more interesting. And then there's a lack of humour, always so welcome in a memoir like this.

She mentions a cooking "school" which she seemed to set up later in life, but again -- no details!
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Format: Hardcover
This is not only an immensely enjoyable memoir of provencal living which is so easy to read, it has a useful overview of subjects such as mushroom collecting with practical receipes at the end of each chapter. I have ALOT of books about americans living in France and this is one of my favorites to date.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For a good many of us, winter has long lost it's appeal. For moi, it never had any appeal. Too much cold, waayyy too much frozen white stuff. Well, take a staycation. Indulge in a trip to unfamiliar territory with tantalizing tastes. Go to France!
I have never entertained any notion to travel to France. Not on my bucket list, just have never wanted to go. But after reading this, I might consider it. Not your typical travelogue, the author invites you into her home and her life in Provence.From raising goats and making cheese, to hunting mushrooms, to attending a local wedding, Ms. Brennan takes the reader on a tour of her life.
Each chapter has a recipe at the end so the reader can try their hand at French cuisine. I have always shied away from French cooking. Too frou-frou,too pretentious. Well how wrong have I been?! The food of Provence is based on simple earthy local ingredients.
This was just the right tonic for my winter blahs. Now where do I want to go next?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For foodies especially, this is an invitation to experience Provence from the 70's to present day and become part of the author's circle of friends/family. You can also learn a lot about food and it's preparation from Georgeanne. At the end, wondered about her first husband (Donald). Did he die or did they divorce? Not critical to know, but curious because he disappeared from the narrative after being a big part of the early years.
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