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The Perfect Meal By John Baxter

The Perfect Meal

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Includes recipes of France such as Ortolans, Bouillabaisse, 100 Year-Old Cognac, and Confiture Vieux Garcon. This book culminates in author's participation in a traditional ox roast, in which an enormous whole ox is cooked on a spit over coals.
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The Perfect Meal Summary

The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France by John Baxter

Just as species of plants and animals are expiring at an alarming rate, so are the traditional ingredients and techniques of classic cooking and eating. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in France, where the heart of the world's most revered and complex national cuisine is in danger of disappearing, as old ways of agriculture, butchering, and cooking are withering - leaving us with only a small fraction of the astonishing delights and surprises French cuisine has to offer. In this charming culinary travel memoir, the bestselling author of "The Most Beautiful Walk in the World" goes on the hunt for the most delicious and bizarre endangered foods of France, including: Ortolans - Tiny birds, drowned in armagnac, sauteed in butter and eaten whole, bones and all, ideally with a large napkin draped over your head to conserve the aroma; Bouillabaisse - Seafood stew that only tastes right if you eat it by the Mediterranean. The secret is an ugly fish called the rascasse that lurks around wrecks; 100 Year-Old Cognac - The old stuff never gets to the shops, but Baxter's wife is friendly with one of the big distillers, so readers get a taste tour of what only millionaires can afford to drink; Confiture Vieux Garcon - Literally, Old Boy's Preserves. Soft fruit in season is placed in a crock, covered in brandy and left to marinate for a year. Traditionally served on ice cream, but a few spoonsful in the morning really set you up. Ox. The book culminates in Baxter's participation in a traditional ox roast, in which an enormous whole ox is cooked on a spit over coals. The recipe begins on a practical note: First, catch your ox...

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The Perfect Meal Reviews

"A mouthwatering, erudite journey through France's foodie heritage, some of which might be lost forever without the likes of Baxter recalling and showcasing them for today's diner." -- France Today "Baxter's command of French history and culture offers the reader a cornucopia of anecdote and detail worth savoring." -- Booklist "Full of humor, insight, and mouth-watering details, The Perfect Meal is a delightful tour of 'traditional' French culture and cuisine." -- Travel and Leisure "The most valuable (and equally endangered) tradition restored by Baxter is the oral one. Local characters, friends, chefs, and enthusiasts enliven his quest and reveal each element in the evolution of the menu to be part of a collective cognitive lineage. A must read for foodies, Francophiles, and armchair travelers." -- Library Journal "Delightful. ... This is one of those delicious books that tickles the psyche, seduces the senses, and effortlessly enlarges the intellect simultaneously." -- Publishers Weekly "We are the beneficiaries of John Baxter's considerable, vivid love for the expatriate life in Paris." -- Los Angeles Times "Reading [John Baxter] is the next best thing to a Paris vacation." -- Boston Globe "A wonderful mix of travel memoir and French culinary history." -- Shelf Awareness "On a quest to find the soul of traditional French cuisine, John Baxter journeys from Paris to Provence. Along the way, he digs into bowls of bouillabaisse, confiture de vieux garcon and other classics." -- AAA World Magazine Winner - Culinary Travel -- IACP COOKBOOK AWARDS

About John Baxter

John Baxter has lived in Paris for more than twenty years. He is the author of four acclaimed memoirs about his life in France: The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France; The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris; Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas; and We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Baxter, who gives literary walking tours through Paris, is also a film critic and biographer whose subjects have included the directors Fellini, Kubrick, Woody Allen, and most recently, Josef von Sternberg. Born in Australia, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, in the same building Sylvia Beach called home.

Additional information

The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France by John Baxter
John Baxter
Used - Very Good
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Winner of IACP Crystal Whisk Award (Culinary Travel) 2014
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.