The Food of France

by Waverley Root

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Recommended by

Nina Caplan

Wine and food writer

Root, an American newspaper journalist in mid-20th century France, has fallen out of fashion, although I once opened a book that had belonged to Elizabeth David and out fell a torn-out newspaper review of one of Root’s books; it was by Cyril Connolly (and decidedly waspish). But I love Root’s broad interest in history and culture, with recipes casually lobbed in along with wine recommendations; this is not a cookbook in the modern sense but you will learn more about France and her habits from Root than from more careful gatherers and measurers – for instance, he divides the country into her cooking fats: butter in the north, lard in the middle and olive oil in the south. And you’ll have more to talk about when you sit down to dinner, too.

Charles Shere

Writer and composer

Diane Morgan

Cooking teacher and cookbook author