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How the French Influenced American Cuisine

In The Gourmands’ Way, Justin Spring tells the story of six American writer-adventurers discovering food culture in Paris.

By
Kara Rota,
Episode #183

book cover of the gourmands' way from justin spring

During the thirty-year boom in France following World War II—les Trente Glorieuses—Paris was not only the world’s most stylish tourist destination, it was also the world capital of gastronomic genius. In The Gourmands’ Way, Justin Spring tells the story of six American writer-adventurers having the time of their lives in the City of Light during this period and, in doing so, transforming the way Americans talk and think about food—and the way they eat.

The six were A. J. Liebling, Alice B. Toklas, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Alexis Lichine, and Richard Olney. None of them were professional chefs, but their exploration of the culinary culture of France changed Americans' relationship with food and eating.

In this week's Clever Cookstr episode, Justin joined us to talk about how these food writers and eaters captured the culinary imagination of a time. Tune in to hear about the highs and lows of French cooking, classic French soups, what makes good food writing, and much more.

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