Happy International BookCrossing Day!
It's a special day for BookCrossing and we hope you'll make it a good one. Ballycumber just posted a short message in the Announcements forum, you can read it here.

Provence, 1970

by Luke Barr | Travel |
ISBN: 0307718352 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winghaahaahaa98wing of Watertown, Massachusetts USA on 1/22/2023
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winghaahaahaa98wing from Watertown, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, January 22, 2023
Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American TasteProvence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A mixed read about crucial influential figures in the history of American food. M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and Richard Olney were all in the same house (used by Julia and Paul Child) in November / December of 1970, at which point they cook together, discuss the future of food, discuss issues related to French cuisine. They would eventually take those lessons and turn them into something that we realize as American cuisine in its post- post-War instantiation - an emphasis on freshness, grass roots cooking, organic food, terroir: all these ideas came from the way in which Americans interacted with French cuisine in the late 60s / early 70s.

The voice of the narration tends towards the self-aware; the writer is a relative / descendant of M.F.K. Fisher, and he's using diaries, journals, notes, letters to recreate the historical narrative among the major figures. Some of the writing comes off as too chummy, too sheltered from the larger issues of the world.

However, the best parts of the book arise when we witness the debates and microaggressions that the figures harbor towards one another - themes of tradition v innovation, America v Europe, and new v old abound.

This work pairs well with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution; Waters makes an appearance at the end of Barr's writings. It also nicely describes a place and time of Provence which we no longer have access to, due to modernization, corporatization, and tourism.


View all my reviews

Journal Entry 2 by winghaahaahaa98wing at Around the World, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Released 1 yr ago (1/26/2023 UTC) at Around the World, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

To be included in the Around the World bookbox #2.

Journal Entry 3 by Aberpeter at Renton, Washington USA on Friday, February 17, 2023
selected from the Around the World Bookbox #2

Journal Entry 4 by Aberpeter at Renton, Washington USA on Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Provence, 1970 provides a glimpse into a few weeks late in 1970 when numerous culinary figures at the time were all in the same place at the same time. They met, in different combinations, over food and wine throughout those winter days with one large gathering at Julia Child's house. The conversations covered topics such as American cuisine, the importance of taste, and French snobbery. At times, the conversations got continuous as individuals were challenged in their own beliefs.

Overall, I found the writing somewhat boring. However, the content was interesting, especially considering the changes in American cuisine at the time as it was moving away from the quick and convenient meals of the 50s to more flavorful meals, inspired by those culinary figures such as Julia Childs.

Journal Entry 5 by Aberpeter at Renton, Washington USA on Friday, February 16, 2024

Released 2 mos ago (2/17/2024 UTC) at Renton, Washington USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Adding to the My Armchair Travels to France bookbox.

Journal Entry 6 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Saturday, March 2, 2024
Chosen from the My Armchair Travels to France bookbox.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.