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An Alphabet for Gourmets

by M. F. K. Fisher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Art of Eating

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
227588,896 (3.93)15
InAlphabet for Gourmets, M.F.K. Fisher arranges a selection of her essays in a whimsical way that reveals the breadth and depth of her passion. From A for (dining) alone to Z for Zakuski, "a Russian hors d'oeuvre," Fisher alights on both longtime obsessions and idiosyncratic digressions. As usual, she liberates her readers from caution and slavish adherence to culinary tradition-- and salts her writings with a healthy dose of humor.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
An A to Z gastronomic memoir which blends serious discussions of food and ingredients, memories and musings on human relationships. M. F. K. Fisher has this in common with the late Laurie Colwin: she is as interested in how food creates bonds or builds walls between people as she is in ingredients and methods. Each of the A-Z essays has one or two recipes at the end. They are somewhat unexpected and most are things I wouldn't eat, much less try to cook. The greatest pleasure of the book is walking through Fisher's life with her. I too want to be in Paris, eating caviar in a bar full of Russian emigres or eating and drinking on one of many Atlantic crossings. ( )
  Bjace | Jun 29, 2013 |
An entertaining read. Though Fisher sticks to a familiar A-to-Z formula, the choices are not the obvious ones of 'A for Apple', rather she strays from cliché with essays on such such subjects as O for 'Ostentation', N for 'Nautical', Q for 'Quantity', and so on.

Some recipes are very much of their time (such quantities of meat, butter and cream are uncommon in modern cookery books, as are the various tinned vegetable or fruit concoctions) as are some of the opinions (that a woman's nagging is what is most likely to ruin any meal is the most obvious example, but some are all the more relevant now.

On 'Gluttony' Fisher writes, "Probably this country will never again see so many fat, rich men as were prevalent at the end of the last century ... literally stuffing themselves to death". Yet at the beginning of the century after she was writing, the oversized coffins she mentions are again in demand during the current epidemic of obesity in the western world. Plus ça change...
  stevejwales | Apr 26, 2013 |
200. 1st ed DW. Marvin Bileck artist. ( )
  kitchengardenbooks | Mar 23, 2010 |
Beautiful color illustrations. 1st pub 1949 Viking Press NY. ( )
  kitchengardenbooks | Apr 16, 2009 |
I love reading M.F.K. Fisher - both her books on cooking and her personal memoires. I come back to this book (and most of her others) every few years. Wonderful for reading on those nights when you need something gentle and engrossing. ( )
  shelley582 | Mar 21, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
M. F. K. Fisherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beck, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levy, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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InAlphabet for Gourmets, M.F.K. Fisher arranges a selection of her essays in a whimsical way that reveals the breadth and depth of her passion. From A for (dining) alone to Z for Zakuski, "a Russian hors d'oeuvre," Fisher alights on both longtime obsessions and idiosyncratic digressions. As usual, she liberates her readers from caution and slavish adherence to culinary tradition-- and salts her writings with a healthy dose of humor.

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