The Shadow of France Hovers Over Mexican Cooking

When you bite into a chicken taco or scoop up guacamole, you probably won’t be thinking about France. Yet, France left indelible fingerprints on the cuisine of Mexico. Jeffrey Pilcher, in Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Dialogos) (1998), attempted to examine the question, but much remains to be done.   … More The Shadow of France Hovers Over Mexican Cooking

France and America: Why Paris Haunts Us So

It’s been several days now, the media stream moves onward, darting here and there to other news, other disasters. And yet I remain static, stuck, still mulling over the attacks on Paris, mourning the loss of all those lives, as well as the so-very-French joie de vivre. Why does Paris haunt me, and others, so? In the hours and … More France and America: Why Paris Haunts Us So

Dear Julia, Happy Birthday! #100, or, Why I Loved You

Dear Julia, Happy 100th birthday! Today lots of famous food writers will write or post reams of flattering words about you. I know, I’ve already seen them, the New York Times leading the charge with three features about you, one by your friend Jacques Pépin. Like Jacques, many others will point out, once again, that … More Dear Julia, Happy Birthday! #100, or, Why I Loved You

At My French Table

If as a child you loved fairy tales and dreamt of being Cinderella, or if you longed to be the handsome prince with a turreted castle, you’re going to adore Jane Webster’s gloriously illustrated At My French Table: Food, Family and Joie de Vivre in a Corner of Normandy. The book imparts the warm feeling you get … More At My French Table

La Tour d’argent poinct ne leurre*, or, Pressed Duck, Blood and Guts and All

What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen. ~ Alice B. Toklas The famed, if slightly faded, Parisian restaurant, La Tour d’Argent, embodies the French idea of culinary hegemony. So do ducks. As you stand … More La Tour d’argent poinct ne leurre*, or, Pressed Duck, Blood and Guts and All