[[ DOWNLOAD EPUB ]] ⇜ Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac ↰ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

There are two grand themes in Balzac s oeuvre, one is money and most particularly debt and the other is food Of this second theme, Anka Muhlstein does full justice with her book Balzac s Omelette A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honore de Balzac Even though I have read over 95% of Balzac s work in a Yahoo Group dedicated to him, I am still amazed by Ms Muhlstein s marshaling of a mass of information into a coherent, and I might even say tasty, whole.There is, for examp There are two grand themes in Balzac s oeuvre, one is money and most particularly debt and the other is food Of this second theme, Anka Muhlstein does full justice with her book Balzac s Omelette A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honore de Balzac Even though I have read over 95% of Balzac s work in a Yahoo Group dedicated to him, I am still amazed by Ms Muhlstein s marshaling of a mass of information into a coherent, and I might even say tasty, whole.There is, for example, this gen from Cousin Pons, one of my favorite novels by the master One of the keenest pleasures of Pons old life, one of the joys of the dinner table parasite, was the surprise, the thrill produced by the extra dainty dish added triumphantly to the bill of fare by the mistress of a bourgeois house, to give a festive air to a dinner Pons stomach hankered after that gastronomical satisfaction Dinner proceeded without le plat couvert, as our grandsires called it Pons had too much delicacy to grumble but if the case of unappreciated genius is hard, it goes harder still with the stomach whose claims are ignored.As M de Mortsauf says in The Lily of the Valley, all our emotions converge on the gastric centres Curiously, despite its highly focused subject, I think Balzac s Omelette is not only an excellent introduction to the work of Balzac in general, but also to Dumas, Zola, Flaubert, de Maupassant, and other French novelists of the 19th century [[ DOWNLOAD EPUB ]] ★ Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac ⇲ Tell me where you eat, what you eat, and at what time you eat, and I will tell you who you are This is the motto of Anka Muhlstein s erudite and witty book about the ways food and the art of the table feature in Honor de Balzac s The Human Comedy Balzac uses them as a connecting thread in his novels, showing how food can evoke character, atmosphere, class, and social climbing suggestively than money, appearances, and other conventional trappingsFull of surprises and insights, Balzac s Omelet invites you to taste anew Balzac s genius as a writer and his deep understanding of the human condition, its ambitions, its flaws, and its cravings An unexpected pleasure Muhlstein has read as much Balzac as I have and she adores the books, the man, and her subject food in his work She points out that he is one of the first world authors to actually go out of his way to tell the reader what people were eating and drinking by way of giving his society a reality literature never possessed before We search Emma and Clarissa in vain for equal bills of fare but after him Dickens gave us toast cheese and of course Christmas goose So it An unexpected pleasure Muhlstein has read as much Balzac as I have and she adores the books, the man, and her subject food in his work She points out that he is one of the first world authors to actually go out of his way to tell the reader what people were eating and drinking by way of giving his society a reality literature never possessed before We search Emma and Clarissa in vain for equal bills of fare but after him Dickens gave us toast cheese and of course Christmas goose So it worked In doing so, Balzac also told us precisely what food and how much food people ate We ve all seen those gargantuan menus from Victorian dinners, but B himself kept dozens of pounds of fruit at hand, and appeared to be addicted to pears French pears, are of course, the ambrosia of the gods, but even so The author meanwhile uses B s use of food to explain how and what people actually did eat by class and social strata How restaurants developed How boarding houses became popular and how they differed She then goes into some menus that are pretty staggering in their variety French Cuisine developed alongside the French Novel in the 19th Century and B s heirs were no slouches either Who can forget the role of food in Madame Bovary or Bel Ami And Zola was equally brilliant giving an entire novel to the Marais Market Place titled The Belly of Paris This is a most enjoyable book, and of course it led me back to Balzac instantly and I began a novella I d never read before titled Gambara, which takes place, you guessed it, at a table d hote in a poor tenement in Paris Tiens Thank you for the book I won through the Goodreads giveaways Fans of the 19th century s French novelist Honor de Balzac will appreciate this book The author presents a brief biography of Balzac pointing out the importance of food in his life She also explains how Balzac s writings reflect the changes that were occurring in food across France at that time as well as how Balzac used food to help define his fictional characters This is an interesting and insightful book. a feast of factoids from balzac s and Maupassant, proust, zola, and hmm, can t remember the 4th dude used as a comparison of novelists and food cooking eating muhlstein used novels, most of which became known as the human comedy at first the book seems ho hum in her relating some of BALZAC s own habits, like only drinking very strong coffee and eating pears while he was writing, but then doing the blow out and gorging on 100 s of oysters, dozens of bottles of wine, and hours long meals AFTER a feast of factoids from balzac s and Maupassant, proust, zola, and hmm, can t remember the 4th dude used as a comparison of novelists and food cooking eating muhlstein used novels, most of which became known as the human comedy at first the book seems ho hum in her relating some of BALZAC s own habits, like only drinking very strong coffee and eating pears while he was writing, but then doing the blow out and gorging on 100 s of oysters, dozens of bottles of wine, and hours long meals AFTER he finished a book almost as if he were using his hunger imagination to conjer up all the yummy foods he writes about, but then also balzac felt lots of good food would be bad for his creativity, well anyone s for that matter but as book rolls along the instances of foods in his writing and author s analysis of balzac, french and other european countries social and historical attitudes toward fiction and food, and her intertwining of HER analysis with balzac s examples eventually becomes and overwhelming flood of info and like a dufus i failed to look at her endnotes while reading and turns into quite a compelling book about fiction, food, restaurantes, class, farmers, paris, carp, wine, and love that i see now why Other Press published this to start with very nice and fun book of history of paris and france via balzac s fiction and biography, much like simon winchester or mark kurlansky I must begin with the disclosure that I received my copy through the First Reads program With that taken care offI enjoyed the book at first it was a bit hard to keep track of what was a reference to some of Balzac s works, what to history and or Balzac s life But once I got into the flow and the rhythm of the writing it was hard to put down.I particularly enjoyed the historical context and the evolution of cooking and gastronomy as described in Balzac s works.The translation is well done, I must begin with the disclosure that I received my copy through the First Reads program With that taken care offI enjoyed the book at first it was a bit hard to keep track of what was a reference to some of Balzac s works, what to history and or Balzac s life But once I got into the flow and the rhythm of the writing it was hard to put down.I particularly enjoyed the historical context and the evolution of cooking and gastronomy as described in Balzac s works.The translation is well done, with appropriate additional explanations when the turn of words in the original French has no direct translation into English Meh While there were many delicious little facts in this book, I couldn t help but feel like it was written for people who want to sound smart at parties The narrative never came together, and like a white sauce cooked too quickly, had lumpy sections which stuck my mind shut. Beautiful prose The story moves slowly at times, but the reader leaves with a richer appreciation of how brilliant Balzac was as a writer, and for who he was as a person If you love food, you ll enjoy this book. This isabout the history of French restaurants than it is a book about food And if you haven t read Balzac you tend to miss most of the main points of the book. In Dickens novels, we can usually guess a character s temperament by the name he is given Scrooge choked and sparing of even an extra syllable Uriah Heap, a pissy little cur waiting to bite the feeding hand evil Murdstone with a stony and murderous heart In the stories of Honore Balzac, what the characters chose for dinner spoke volumes They were, indeed, what they ate Balzac also used food as a metaphor and a description A young girl, all ripe and pink and fleshy in her youthful embonp In Dickens novels, we can usually guess a character s temperament by the name he is given Scrooge choked and sparing of even an extra syllable Uriah Heap, a pissy little cur waiting to bite the feeding hand evil Murdstone with a stony and murderous heart In the stories of Honore Balzac, what the characters chose for dinner spoke volumes They were, indeed, what they ate Balzac also used food as a metaphor and a description A young girl, all ripe and pink and fleshy in her youthful embonpoint is likened to a juicy piece of ham, while a withered old crone s quilty carapace reminds the author of a sweetbread.Anka Muhlstein captures very little Balzac s playful use of food She doesn t give us the importance of food and eating We get brief slices of this, a teaspoon of that and a gobbet of something elsebut not nearly enough of anything Balzac s use of food told us so much about his people, it becomesthan mere metaphor In Pere Goriot, the dining room table is as much a character as the boarders who surround it Food is not just for eating When Goriot s landlady feels thwarted in love, she revokes her boarders anchovy and gherkin privileges in spite Whenever anyone dips a crust of toast into a cup of coffee, we know they are settling in for a good gossip.Balzac s Omelette merely skims the obvious, tells us what we already knew and gives us no new bits to crunch on Muhlstein tells us Balzac was obsessed with food Whoa the horses The man was spherical in shape and known to down a gross of oysters that s a dozen dozen if you re counting to whet his appetite before a dinner that would feed a platoon of marines after a 20 mile hike.This is Balzac, the most food centric of all the French writers Just by choosing dinner or by how they behave at the table, Balzac s characters may reveal themselves to be honorable or charlatans, trustworthy or not A woman is a lady if she eats ladylike foods If she savors the wrong dainty, we understand that she is vulgar, a poseur, or that her past is about to catch up with her Even Zola didn t give food the importance Zola did despite his voluptuous menus Flaubert s description of Emma Bovary s wedding breakfast is a skimpy snack by comparison, and Maupassant s tale of the beautiful and badly used Boule de Suif is a story written for WeightwatchersIf you enjoyed Balzac s stories and want to tiptoe down memory lane, Balzac s Omelette is fine If you don t know much about him and want a little background, it s a good start But if you adore the old glutton, if you wanted to add another crumb to your knowledge of him, his era or his characters, get some great insights into Pere Goriot, maybe, or something you missed about Le Cousine Bette, you won t get that here This is veneer of a book Light and fluffy and a little mingy An amuse bouche if you will No one enjoys a good omelettethan I, but this one is a little flat and underdone