Summary and book reviews of A Goose in Toulouse by Mort Rosenblum

A Goose in Toulouse

and Other Culinary Adventures in France

By Mort Rosenblum

A Goose in Toulouse
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Sep 2000,
    285 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2001,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

In France, you are what you eat, and no one knows this better than Mort Rosenblum. Here, this internationally acclaimed journalist and James Beard Award-winning food writer for his last book, Olives, applies his superb nose for news and fine fare to the food-drenched culture of a country that takes its cuisine as seriously as its politics.

Wending his way through the French countryside, Rosenblum takes readers on a tour of The Roquefort country, where he finds two families left in a tiny village; they talk to their sheep, but each has ignored the other for three generations. In Paris, he finds Alain Ducasse, with six Michelin stars, hard at work building an haute cuisine empire. He visits a snail rancher, oyster rustlers, and the fabled Chateau Petrus. Bruno the Truffle King rhapsodizes to him about fragrant black fungus.

Looking at the way the French live through how they cook, eat, and market their cuisine, Rosenblum offers a picture of a country at war with the clichés that both define and degrade its national character. At a time when the public can't seem to get enough of all things French, here is a deliciously informative book that's food for thought and a feast for the senses.

A God in France

"The destiny of nations depends upon how they feed themselves . . .The pleasure of the table reigns among other pleasures, and it is the last to console when others are lost."
- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"In France, one dines. Everywhere else, one eats."
- Montesquieu

Only in France could a loaf of bread come with a technical support phone number and an instruction manual thick with philosophy. Lionel Poilâne, who produces such bread, would be a mere baker in any other country. To the French, he is a national treasure, an artist whose medium is a 100-ton oven. In his black velvet string tie and gray workman's smock, tossing his Prince Valiant hair to punctuate a point, he assures a nation of a mere 60 million inhabitants that they still hold the lantern for billions of less enlightened mortals.

"Bread is the soul of civilization," Poilâne remarked one morning in the seat of his empire, a little redbrick boulangerie on the rue ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
The New York Times Magazine - Molly O'Neill

Mort Rosenblum has brought the intrepid rigor of his 30 years as a war correspondent to bear on France's battle to remain the worlds source of fine food. The result is a rollicking roll through the heart, myth, soul and belly of the land of Bon Appetit, a century after Escoffier. More, please.

Library Journal

Something between a culinary travel guide and a commentary on modern-day France, his book enchants on every level.

Kirkus Reviews

A clear-eyed, affectionate exploration of traditional cuisine's place in the culture and politics of an ever-changing France... Highly satisfying.

Publishers Weekly

Full of odd anecdotes about France, its food, cultures and inhabitants, this vigorously written book will find its way onto francophiles' shelves, next to Elizabeth David and A.J. Liebling.

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