- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 7 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 22, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00F8MJB64
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
In fact, those three, plus Craig Claiborne, introduced me to the glories of food and cooking when I was in college. Starting with The Art of Eating, which I bought because of the writing, not the subject, I learned early and took it to heart that food should be fresh, food should be joyous, and that eating is a big part of the art of living.
What I am only beginning to realize, through books like this, is how revolutionary these notions were. Coming together in December 1970 in Provence, these three influential food writers, plus Richard Olney (an American expat and cookbook writer), they looked at a country and cuisine they loved and realized that they, as Americans, could add something wonderful to the conversation about food.
They realized that French food had become too complex, too rarified, and too rigid. But it could be so much more. If they added a deep respect for ingredients, an emphasis on freshness and easy preparation, and some of the meting pot of America, something might happen.
It turned out that something was a very good thing indeed.
Written by Fisher's great-nephew, this book looks at the things that happened, how they affected Beard, Child, and Fisher, and what came of it. The books is beautifully and affectionately written and thoroughly researched. I just loved it.
If you have ever wondered why we eat the way we do, read this book and you'll know.
If you were inclined to adventurous cooking, you were limited by what was available at the market - and in most American towns it was almost impossible to find olive oil or lettuce other than iceberg. Cheese came in three flavors - American, Swiss, and Cheddar.
The premise of Luke Barr's book is that when the major American food personalities of the time arrived in Provence in late 1970, it was the threshold of a change in American dining. He makes a case that those writers (Julia Child, Richard Olney, James Beard, and Barr's great-aunt M.F.K. Fisher) were drivers of that change.
My initial reaction to the notion that several food writers could change the way America ate, was skepticism. But when I recalled how limited our diets were then by today's standards, I had to concede that something caused that change. Maybe it was those few personalities or maybe they were just quick to see what was already happening and jumped on board. Either way, we get to spend a couple of months in Provence with an outspoken bunch of characters.
Barr's access to M.F.K. Fisher's papers make this an original work, since much of his research revolves around a detailed diary that she kept while in Provence that year. Her daily letters to her confidante/lover provided more detail.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read. Informative, conversational, comfortable, I felt I was there. Made me want to invite some friends & start cooking.Published 2 hours ago by A. M.
Wonderful memories of food and wines of the times. Such insight into the lives of Child's, Beck, Beard and Only. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Renie
I was really interested to learn more about this seminal coming together of these influential foodies and how they might have related to and creatively affected one another's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Judith L
A great retelling of the personal lives of icons in the culinary world. This book reveals both their humanity and their greatness.Published 1 month ago by Allen White
Loved it - speaks to everything in the south of France and the hidden St. Paul de Vence, home of many great artists. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mary Ann Thornam
This book pales in comparison to Julia Child's My Life in France and Jacques Pepin's The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. Highly recommend both of those over this one.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I throughly enjoyed this book! It was well written and I was able to visualize every character as they moved through the pages.Published 6 months ago by Candi Jensen
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