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Sunday, July 19, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)

THE SWEET LIFE IN PARIS; delicious adventures in the world's most
glorious – and perplexing – city (Broadway Books, 2009, 282 pages, ISBN
978-0-7679-2888-5, $24.95 US, hard covers) is by renowned pastry chef,
David Lebovitz. He currently lives in Paris, leads chocolate tours, and
teaches cooking. He moved to Paris in 2002 to start a new life, near
the Bastille. But he soon found that the French were a "strange"
people. It took him awhile to come to grips, and this book is his
story. He deals with the ironclad rules of social conduct (appearance
and image is everything) which dominate life in Paris. Much material is
derived and codified from his blog at Written in
memoir style, he adds about 50 recipes. Avoirdupois measurements are
used, but there is no metric table of equivalents. At the end of the
book, there is a list of some favourite food haunts in Paris. This
appears to be a good guide, based on my own memories. There is no index
but there is a listing of recipes.
Audience and level of use: arm chair travelers, those who have been to
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: absinthe cake (his blog also
has absinthe ice cream), bacon and blue cheese cake, fig-olive
tapenade, chicken mole, peanut slaw.
The downside to this book: the listing of recipes is alphabetical by
title, so you have "warm goat cheese salad" at the end under W.
The upside to this book: good writing style, with sidebars and glosses
of comments.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

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