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But this book turned out to be more than seafood. I rely on it for the great old-time, country dessert, salad, etc. recipes.
Along with the unique, delicious and easy recipes, it tells the stories surrounding the food.
Great for food connoisseurs.
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P.S.: If you don't have Dojny's last, "The New England Cookbook," you're missing out on some great cooking (and eating).
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This is one cookbook that I can find recipes easily without bookmarks- how? By the stains and stiffened pages the book has from enduring my ownership!
Having said that, it should be noted the recipes are easy, and a senual delight. Moreover, Ms. Loomis gives one a cultural taste of rural France, which is provocative.
Check out her Italian Farmhouse Cookbook as well. It is luscious.
Each recipe gives us a short story to where the recipe originated...location in France, and the family that makes it.
I enjoyed the cookbook immensely as the author lives in France, yet is American, so she can explain how to replace those ingredients that we don't have here in the United States.
Later, I began cooking from the book. Let me tell you, I was getting raving reviews from my fellow co-workers and since, the baby group I joined.
I would recommned this book. Her recipes are easy to read and not complicated at all. Plus, it gives you the feeling that you are somewhere else...far away from your cares...to a more simpler time...the French Countryside!
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The recipes are perfect, to my way of thinking, clearly written, easily followed, and of course, as with all Loomis' recipes, simply delicious.
These are comfort foods, though salubrious, relying heavily on fresh ingredients, but don't most good recipes! Now, I'm more eager than ever to grow my own produce, mushroom hunt, keep a window, herb garden and find an excellent butcher.
Am I ever glad I did! Obviously the negative review (from a reader supposedly in New York) was totally inappropriate and wrong! This cook book is fantastic!
I love Thai, Italian, and Mexican cooking (particularly low fat versions) and have a library of over 50 of the best cook books I could find. At the time I ordered this book, I also purchased a "famous" large format Italian cookbook, with large color pictures of each recipe item, and gorgeous pictures of the Italian countryside.
But Loomis' book is superior to that or any other Italian cookbook I've seen. If you demand glossy color pictures of Italy, don't buy this cook book! But if you want to actually FEEL as though you know the best Italian cooking and what the factors and feelings are in creating it, then buy it.
The recipes are astoundingly good and the writing is wonderful. Her descriptions of the people and cooks she encountered on her journey through the Italian countryside are wonderful and her recipes are the same. The author's fine writing style, along with the wisdom and authentic cooking ideas she gathered on her visits to various homes, provide such a strong foundation for the beautiful recipes themselves.
This is a "must have" Italian cookbook, no question about it!
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1. The food dictionary on the back! Eventhough I can speak/write/read some French that I don't need to carry regular dictionary around, the food terms sometimes confusing and this book has an excellent section on it.
2. The recipes are worth trying. I tried her recipes for madeleine and financiers, both turned out excellent.
3. Ms. Wells not only give restaurant guides but also specialty shops, bakery, etc. Some of the recommendations are well secluded from mainstream tourists. A trully excellent find.
Here's what I don't like about this book:
1. Many of the restaurants featured are expensive, especially for 2 months stay in Paris. I think there's plenty of cheap and reasonably good food that I could find. I used Ms. Well's recommendation for weekends/special occasions.
2. I think this book is a bit too heavy/thick to carry around.
In this fourth version of her classic, Ms Wells again does a superb job of ferreting out and reviewing top notch restaurants, cafes, bakeries, pastry shops, wine bars, candy makers, markets, and a myriad of specialty shops - anything and everything that has to do with food in the food capital of the world. Some notable names from the third edition have been dropped and some exciting new ones added.
Some restaurants have been in all four guides, but an update was certainly necessary for those who enjoy the finest of fine cuisine: three years ago, the celebrated superstar chef Joel Robuchon retired. Today, several of his talented former assistants are now running their own kitchens in Paris, and their food can be absolutely stunning. My girlfriend and I visited two of these restaurants last autumn, (during the wild mushroom season, of course!), and were blown away by the exquisite food at both establishments.
Those looking for dining bargains will not be disappointed, as a good many of the recommended restaurants are not only quite affordable, but also offer wonderful value for your money. Good food, simply but imaginatively prepared. Included amongst the latter are several wonderful regional restaurants, if, for instance, you would like to try some of the specialties of the Southwest or Provence.
As there are other serious restaurant guides available, perhaps the most uniquely useful chapters in the book are those devoted to specialty shops. Whether you are looking for fresh truffles, old cookbooks, designer china, or the most specialized and esoteric of cookware, using this book you will be able to find it.
As another reviewer pointed out that the book features a number of recipes (I think the reviewer was peeved by this), I thought I would add my two cents: every recipe I have tried from other editions of this book has been at least very good; some have been superb.
Finally, as usual, there there are many, many explanatory notes and a very good glossary that covers a large amount of French food terminology. First time visitors to Paris will find both the notes and the glossary VERY useful.
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And when Loomis isn't rehashing the now-trite cliches of adjusting to living in France (driving habits; pharmacists; bureaucracy; difficulties in renovating a house; etc. etc.), she's busy convincing us how happy and successful she is. Her self-congratulatory tone quickly became tiresome after the first few chapters--her perfect/beautiful/wonderful/joyous/lovely friends, family, and house were just a little too "Martha Stewart" for me. Yuk!
As many reviewers have pointed out, the story of how Loomis and her husband refurbished their _maison bourgeoise_ was very interesting, and of course the recipes seem luscious (though Loomis has a sweet but irritating habit of describing each of her friend's cooking as "the best I've ever had"). After the house was finished, though, the book started getting tedious, and I felt that Loomis was trying to make pages for a publisher. There is an ENTIRE chapter on the process Loomis went through in buying a stove. Even if one is a professional cook who cares deeply about such things, Loomis's prose isn't exciting enough to make the tale interesting. Instead it reads like a shaggy-dog story about appliance shopping. A lot of the book feels like similar filler, with irrelevant detail about Loomis' problems finding school supplies for her son, explaining what a baby shower is to her friends, going on doctors' and dentists' appointments in Paris, and so forth. The domesticity of Loomis' life, filled with friends and children, is a nice contrast to the typical Anglo-Saxon-abroad-drinking-and-eating memoir, but often in Rue Tatin the domestic details overwhelm the story. Still, it's a quick, fun read, and one I wouldn't hesitate to stuff into my suitcase if I were heading for a couple of weeks' holiday in France.
ON RUE TATIN tells about the renovation of the house as well as the story of their adjustment to French culture, the friends and workmen they encounter, and the life they live as modern expatriots. Having established a reputation and published a cookbook, Loomis writes another throughout the development of this memoir and she includes some of her recipes in this volume.
Loomis is a pedestrian writer at best, so the charm of the book rests on the experiences of the author and the usefulness of the recipes. I tried one -- the chocolate cake -- and found it delicious.