Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Provence 1970

In the winter of 1970 culinary figures M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, Simone Beck, Richard Olney, and Judith Jones got together in the south of France. They cooked together and talked, sometimes heatedly, about the future of food in America. These are some of the people that helped shape the culture of food, without realizing just how much impact they would have. M.F.K. Fisher recorded in her journals and letters the conversations and food the group had on this trip. The letters and journal were later discovered by her nephew Luke Barr.

This intimate look at such well known figures is from M.F.K. Fisher's point of view. Her letters and journals are used as the primary sources for this book, so it seemed very natural to use her perspective on these events. I really liked seeing these popular people through a friend and colleague's eyes. She is very real in the way she records the different relationships between the group, and gave us what seems to be a realistic idea of who they were.

I thought it was very interesting to discover how American tastes changed, and what some of the influences of those changes might have been. I liked the permeating idea of how food can shape memories and experiences. I appreciated how Barr included details about the menus and cooking processes to really help the reader understand the connections to food, and how different it was to the way many people eat now.

It was an interesting read. It took me a little while to get into the flow of the writing, but by the time they were all together in France I was enjoying the almost nostalgic feel the book had. The end was also a little harder to get through, but people who are interested in the food movement or the culinary figures mentioned in this book will enjoy reading it.

I read this book as an ebook on my Nook, and had no problems reading it in that format.

I recommend reading this book.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book sooner than I would have gotten to it or heard about otherwise.

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