′The chocolate centre flows like dark lava onto the whiteness of the plate. The last ounce of stress drains from my body....I have discovered the French version of Death by Chocolate.′
Part love story, part wine-splattered cookbook, LUNCH IN PARIS is a deliciously tart, forthright and funny story of falling in love with a Frenchman and moving to the world′s most romantic city - not the Hollywood version, but the real Paris, a heady mix of blood sausage and irregular verbs.
From gutting her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen) and battling bad-tempered butchers to discovering heavenly chocolate shops, Elizabeth Bard finds that learning to cook and building a new life as a stranger in an even stranger land have a lot in common. Along the way she learns the true meaning of home - and the real reason French women don′t get fat ...
Peppered with recipes to die for, this mouth-watering love story is the perfect treat for any woman who has ever suspected that lunch in Paris could change her life.
Once upon a time I used to read a lot of books like this. A woman changes her life by moving to a new country, learns to cook and ends up having a fabulous life. It has however been years since I have done so, mainly because I realised that I was torturing myself because I did the moving countries thing, I didn't learn to cook all that well and I am still waiting for the fabulousness to arrive! (well, maybe that is being a bit overly dramatic, but you know what I mean).
I remember reading books like Under the Tuscan Sun by Francis Mayes and literally spending hours trawling the internet imagining exactly what I would do when I got to Tuscany. That was at least 8 or 9 years ago, and I still haven't left Australia again. Really the torturing myself is because I can't see a way where I will be able to go on holidays to somewhere exciting any time soon. This book made me want to spend hours googling pictures of Paris and France and wishing that I could go there now. I was already feeling that way after watching the Tour de France and participating in Paris in July - now the longing is almost palpable.
The full title of this book is Lunch in Paris: A Delicious Love Story, with Recipes and it is exactly as it advertises!
Elizabeth Bard is a young American woman living in London when she meets Gwendal, a Frenchman. Soon she finds herself travelling back and forward between London, New York and Paris until it comes time to make the move to Paris itself.
What follows in the book is a tale of how fantastic it can be to be discovering the Paris behind the tourist trails, but also the small, and some times, large trials that face Elizabeth as she tries to find her place in a very different culture to the one she is used to. The major obvious difference is the language, but there are also major differences in relation to work, ambition, lifestyle, about eating for pleasure rather than function and so much more! Another subject that received a fair amount of page time - how do French women stay thin and glamorous looking!
When I was living overseas I didn't have the issues around language that Elizabeth Bard did, but there were certainly cultural differences that some times were difficult to navigate, and there were definitely times, especially just after I came home again, when I didn't really feel like I belonged in either place anymore.
This book was so much fun to read, and oh my goodness, the food and the recipes had me licking my lips. It all sounded so fantastic!
There are so many recipes I want to try. Just for fun I am going to give the French names of a few of the recipes and you can give your best guesses as to what they are in the comments! I'll add the English names of the recipes after the weekend is over.
Parfaits au Yauort et aux Fruits Rouges
Gateua au Yaourt
Travers de Porc au Miel
Moulleuz au Chocolate "Kitu"
Financiers aux Framboises
Souris d'Agneau a l'Orange et a la Badiane
There are very few books that I read from the library that I wish I owned, but this is definitely one of them. I think I might buy it some time soon. Actually, having just spent a little time going through and looking for recipes I might like to try, I think I am definitely going to have to buy this book as I am up to page 105 and I already have a list more than 10 recipes long. It almost feels like I could possibly do some French cooking! How exciting.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.
Paris in July is a month long event hosted by Karen from Book Bath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea, which invites the participants to celebrate all things French!