Between meals : an appetite for Paris

by A. J. Liebling

Hardcover, 1995

Status

Available

Publication

New York : Modern Library, 1995.

Description

New Yorker staff writer A.J. Liebling recalls his Parisian apprenticeship in the fine art of eating in this charming memoir,Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris. "There would come a time when, if I had compared my life to a cake, the sojourns in Paris would have presented the chocolate filling. The intervening layers were plain sponge." In his nostalgic review of his Rabelaisian initiation into life's finer pleasures, Liebling celebrates the richness and variety of French food, fondly recalling great meals and memorable wines. He writes with awe and a touch of envy of his friend and mentor Yves Mirande, "one of the last great gastronomes of France," who would dispatch a lunch of "raw Bayonne ham and fresh figs, a hot sausage in crust, spindles of filleted pike in a rich rosesauce Nantua, a leg of lamb larded with anchovies, artichokes on a pedestal of foie gras, and four or five kinds of cheese, with a good bottle of Bordeaux and one of Champagne"--all before beginning to contemplate dinner. In A.J. Liebling, a great writer and a great eater became one, for he offers readers a rare and bountiful feast in this delectable book. With an introduction by James Salter, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author ofA Sport and a Pastime… (more)

Media reviews

It is a memoir, focused mostly on his year as a 22-year-old man in Paris to study at the Sorbonne, but who spent quite a bit of time indulging in French cuisine. (That year Liebling spent studying in France was 1926, about 80 years before David Lebovitz moved to the City of Lights.) Later, Liebling went back to France as a World War II correspondent (and won an award from the French government for his reporting), wrote essays on boxing (later compiled in The Sweet Science, named by Sports Illustrated as the best sport book of all time), and wrote “The Wayward Press” for The New Yorker—columns which he wrote as a press critic. All that, and some say Liebling’s best writing is his food writing.

User reviews

LibraryThing member John_Vaughan
This is one of those books that, as you very reluctantly finish and shelve it you think to yourself ”Damn! Where has THIS author been all my life?” Needless to say perhaps (but then we always go on to say it!) my next order is already in and awaited. Brilliant, witty, readable prose from a professional who earnt his keep as a columnist on the great magazine – as it once was – The New Yorker. Born to a well-off family he was allowed in the summer 1926, to sail to Europe to study French medieval literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Supposedly.

Having blackmailed his father into funding a year in Europe – and having spent his first year’s allowance before he even left! – Liebling actually spent his second adequate monthly released funding studying ”feeding”.

Despite a reputation based on his New Yorker columns on life, boxing and mankind’s foibles it is his writing on food and ‘feeding’ for which he is mostly acclaimed. His editor decried his claims to be a gourmet, and (as was explained by my own ‘feeding’ French mentor many years after his adventures) he was assured that he was actually a gourmand. Our matching shapes at the same stages of maturity confirm this more apt definition!

Wonderfully witty but actually very astute writing on restaurants, food and wine demonstrate this author’s ability to ensnare the reader in his works. Almost weeping for my ‘long lost’ Paris at the end – sated and stuffed – I put aside this greedy ‘foodies’ pornography with reluctant glee.

Great reading!
… (more)
LibraryThing member Faradaydon
Liebling's essay Passable, the last in this too-small volume, is one of the best five I have ever read: a gem!
LibraryThing member debnance
If you have never had the experience of reading the prose of one of those old, amazing newspapermen, Liebling is your fellow. And where does he take you? Why, Paris, of course. You just can’t turn down this ride.
LibraryThing member debnance
If you have never had the experience of reading the prose of one of those old, amazing newspapermen, Liebling is your fellow. And where does he take you? Why, Paris, of course. You just can’t turn down this ride.
LibraryThing member EricCostello
Well-written and evocative, though the Liebling tendency towards snark can be a bit off-putting.

Language

Barcode

1856
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