This book will delight the traveling foodie in all of us!
Ann Mah is accustomed to traveling around the world... but she does not always love it. Throughout Mastering the Art of French Eating, we learn what it was like for her to be born to Chinese-American parents and raised in southern California, and later how she strives for identity as her husband's work in the foreign services shuffles them around the world. Mah acknowledges the privilege of experiencing many different cultures, while finally finding comfort and a little bit of home in her kitchen.
What I liked most about this book was the food history. The author, left quite literally to her own devices and on a seemingly endless budget in Paris, shares experiences many of us will never have. She explores the street markets and describes them in such detail that I can almost taste the tang of brie. When she visits a bakery, you'll yearn for bread fresh out of the oven. It's a foodie's dream!
The book's chapters follow stages of the author's year away from her husband, and how she comes to explore specific regions of France. Luckily for us, Mah includes well-honed recipes for several traditional French dishes, including crepes, cassoulet and steak frites. This book will certainly have your mouth watering, so don't stray too far from the kitchen!
I work in Adult Services and host Let's Dish, a monthly cookbook discussion group held at Northwest Library. I also enjoy reading historical fiction, creepy mysteries and nonfiction books about food and food history. When I'm not reading or trying new recipes, you’ll probably find me running on the Olentangy Trail!