Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I don't just cook and blog- I actually read too!

I have to tell you about one of my favorite books that I just finished reading. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery. Her second book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog was amazing too (I just found out Gourmet was her first, but not released in English until after Elegance.) It's like reading poetry, but better. What word can I make up for poetic writing - writetry ? Her words are so eloquent and yet the people so real. The books are originally in French, so I should commend the translator Alison Anderson too for enabling me to read her lovely story en anglais. Now, I decided it was ok for me to talk about her newest book on my "cooking" blog because it is about a dying food critic who is searching for his lost flavor that he wants to taste. Here are a couple of her brilliant passages I thought I would share... the first setting is the critic describing a meal that he had as a child on vacation in Tangiers.

"The meatballs, grilled with the utmost respect for their firmness, had lost none of their succulence during their passage through fire, and filled my professionally carnivorous mouth with a thick, warm, spicy, juicy wave of masticatory pleasure. The sweet bell peppers, unctuous and fresh, softened my taste buds already subjugated by the virile rigor of the meat, and prepared them for the next powerful assault."

Masticatory pleasure - don't you just love it!! That word was not ok in my spellcheck but who cares?!

This next sentence just may be my favorite of all time: About a tomato...

"In her dirty hand, deformed by work in the fields, there it sat: crimson in its taut silken finery, undulating with the occasional more tender hollow, with a communicable cheerfulness about it like a plumpish woman in her party dress hoping to compensate for the inconvenience of her extra pounds by means of a disarming chubbiness evoking an irresistible desire to bite into her flesh."

Sigh, what more can I say. I highly recommend both of her books. She is to writing what Gaudi is to architecture.

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