The Sweet Life in Paris
Delicious Adventures in the Worlds Most Glorious--and Perplexing--cityBook - 2009
Like so many others, David Lebovitz dreamed about living in Paris ever since he first visited the city in the 1980s. Finally, after a nearly two-decade career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, he moved to Paris to start a new life. Having crammed all his worldly belongings into three suitcases, he arrived, hopes high, at his new apartment in the lively Bastille neighborhood.
But he soon discovered it's a different world en France .
From learning the ironclad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men's footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David's story of how he came to fall in love with--and even understand--this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city.
When did he realize he had morphed into un vrai parisien ? It might have been when he found himself considering a purchase of men's dress socks with cartoon characters on them. Or perhaps the time he went to a bank with 135 euros in hand to make a 134-euro payment, was told the bank had no change that day, and thought it was completely normal. Or when he found himself dressing up to take out the garbage because he had come to accept that in Paris appearances and image mean everything.
The more than fifty original recipes, for dishes both savory and sweet, such as Pork Loin with Brown Sugar--Bourbon Glaze, Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Spice Bread, Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, and Mocha--Crème Fraîche Cake, will have readers running to the kitchen once they stop laughing.
The Sweet Life in Paris is a deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the city of lights, cheese, chocolate, and other confections.
From the critics
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Since only 20 percent of Americans have passports, we don’t get out as much as we should, and our dealings with foreigners are usually on our own turf where they have to play by our rules. We’re not so good at adapting to others, since we’re rarely in a position that requires us to do it. . . . I wonder why when we travel outside the United States we expect people to behave like Americans – even in their own country.
Where one might traditionally find, say, ceilings, big pieces of crumbly stucco dangled instead, collapsing in shards of papery stalactites, littering everything with dusty flakes of plaster.
Every Frenchwoman I know loves chocolate so much she has a chocolate cake in her repertoire that she’s committed to memory, one she can make on a moment’s notice.
The French take their language very, very seriously, and I can’t remember a dinner party where an argument about some aspect of the language didn’t at some point break out and was not resolved until someone went to a bookshelf and pulled out a copy of Larousse, an important fixture in every French household.
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