You know those books that grab hold of you from the moment you start reading the first few pages? Mastering the Art of French Eating is one of those treasures.
Ann Mah’s book will make you hungry for a crusty baguette and thirsty for a good rosé. Her book is about love, food and France. The life-lessons she learns in France truly give her food for thought and make memories you can taste.
Mah’s diplomat husband was assigned to Paris for a three-year posting. They were living the “American in Paris” dream together until her husband was transferred to Iraq for a year.
Mah’s situation was similar to Julia Child’s…both diplomatic spouses spending their days in Paris learning about French cooking. She even bought a house on the same rue de l’Universite that Julia lived on.
At first, the Skype chats she schedules with her husband are all she’s looking forward to until she gets a part-time job working at the American library and starts exploring France.
Reading her book, we can travel with Ann as she meets fellow food enthusiasts…a farmer’s wife who offered to give Ann the details and secrets of her cultured butter, a fellow food writer that she invites over for dinner to make soup dumplings and a wine adviser who leads Ann through her wine cave in Pommard.
Using Thomas Jefferson and Julia Child as tour guides she journeys through France, searching for the country’s most famous provincial and iconic dishes. Mah loved traveling to Alsace for choucroute, Brittany for butter and crepes, Lyon to experience a Salade Lyonnaise, Languedoc to taste cassoulet and Provence for soup au pistou…including regional recipes along the way.
Ann writes, “There is no croissant as crisp and flaky or as sweetly buttery as the one you eat, still warm from the oven, on your first morning in Paris after a long absence.”
Ann Mah is easy for me to relate to…she’s shy, has had a love for France since she was a child, is a tea drinker and loves Julia Child. I want to be her friend and make a pumpkin pie with her…a fellow Francophile.
Reading Mastering the Art of French Eating will make you want to be in Paris…preferably with your husband because as she writes,“If you want to go fast, eat alone. If you want to go far, eat together.” And “Somehow everything tastes better eaten with your favorite dining companion.”
Merci Ann! I so look forward to reading your next book.
Other books you might enjoy that take you on a journey through France: Eight Days in Provence, Paris to the Moon, Almost French, Chasing Matisse, A Year in the Merde and My Life in France.