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The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher

The Art of Eating (1954)

by M. F. K. Fisher

Other authors: W. H. Auden (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (16)  Dutch (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is an interim review, since I didn't finish it before it was due at the library (and I wasn't able to renew it). This very large (749 pages) volume combines five of Fisher's popular cooking titles (Serve It Forth, Consider the Oyster, How To Cook a Wolf, The Gastronomical Me, and An Alphabet for Gourmets) - 50 years of food essays. I almost gave up on it until I got to "The Gastronomical Me" which was much more interesting - entertaining, autobiographical, humorous, and worth reading. So I'll be checking it out again and will update this review. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Apr 27, 2019 |
This is one of my favorite books. It contains several of MFK Fisher's classic (and IMO, best) books about food, from How to Cook a Wolf to An Alphabet for Gourmets. Even now, 25 years after discovering her, I can still dip into any one of these books and get lost for a while in MFK Fisher's delightful world of food and travel and occasionally, making do. Just one word of advice: Don't make the War Cake from How to Cook a Wolf. Seriously. ( )
  VintageReader | Jul 9, 2017 |
This is a fabulous compendium of several separate books by the essayist M.F.K. Fisher. There is Serve It Forth, her first collection of essays, The Gastronomical Me, a touching autobiography, How To Cook a Wolf, essays on living through post-War food rationing, and An Alphabet For Gourmets, another collection of essays. Fisher's prose is stellar and to read her is to be welcomed into the spacious mind and heart of an old friend. ( )
  Smartjanitor | Jun 12, 2017 |
Autobiography and food. What could be tastier? ( )
  Cleoxcat | May 28, 2015 |
This is an omnibus of five works by M.F.K. Fisher. I will review each work separately, since I have different reactions to her different writings.
"Serve it Forth" - ****Now I understand why this woman is one of the most popular food writers ever. The first book I read by her did not leave me with this understanding, but this one was delightful. A collection of thoughts on eating throughout history and places. She muses about things, each chapter its own little essay. I love her use of the language, her considerations of food and eating and people and what it all means. Her sly and sneaky, understated humor. Very pleased with this read.

"Consider the Oyster" - *****This was a delightful, relaxing and amusing read. It triggered many happy family moments with my grandmother, mother and brother. The little casserole of oyster stuffing at Thanksgiving for those few of us who loved it, and the massive one of sausage dressing for the rest. The wonderful canned, smoked oysters in my stocking for Christmas, which were mine to eat alone and not share! The breakfasts and lunches with my brother and mother of Hangtown Fry, or simply fried oysters (made the way my grandmother made them, dipped in flour, beaten eggs and crushed cracker crumbs, then fried quickly in butter, never overcooked). Especially the vacation in Baja California where mom and grandma (the only ones to appreciate raw oysters) plucked them out of the sea and we feasted on scallops (which my brothers brought back from diving) and oysters. So, like a great meal is more than the food eaten, this book was more than the words in it. The author's remembrances would bring back my own and we could mingle and enjoy them together.

"How to Cook a Wolfe" - Read and reviewed elsewhere.

"The Gastronomical Me" - ****This is a very personal book. She alludes to many things without saying them, but after I read her bio on Wikipedia, the puzzles clicked into place and made for a rather sad story. How she managed to write through that sadness is amazing to me. This is also a woman who holds no punches in how she sees others. Each chapter is based on her food experiences in the very trying times of her life, each leads to growth and change.

"An Alphabet for Gourmets" - *** A miscellany of thoughts on food and the eating thereof. I don't think I would enjoy cooking many of her recipes, but I like the way she talks about food. I must say that she contradicts herself frequently though. She talks about plain and simple food being the best, then complains when others serve it. She laments seldom being invited to dine with others because she is intimidating to them, then proceeds to dissect others and their way of cooking and eating and pass harsh judgment upon them, seemingly never pleased. I'm afraid much of that may be what the "style" of wit and writing in her day demanded. ( )
1 vote MrsLee | Sep 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fisher, M. F. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auden, W. H.Introductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beard, James A.Appreciationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reardon, JoanRetrospective essaysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There are two kinds of books about eating: those that try to imitate Brillat-Savarin's, and those that try not to.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0764542613, Paperback)

A collection of essays by one of America's best known food writers, that are often more autobiographical or historical than anecdotal musings on food preparation and consumption. The book includes culinary advice to World War II housewives plagued by food shortages, portraits of family members and friends (with all their idiosyncrasies) and notes on her studies at the University of Dijon, in France. Through each story she weaves her love of food and passion for cooking, and illustrates that our three basic needs as human beings--love, food and security--are so intermingled that it is difficult to think of one without the others. The book won the 1989 James Beard Cookbook Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Presents the author's five celebrated gastronomical works distilling the essence of her culinary art.

Legacy Library: M. F. K. Fisher

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