I tend to avoid the classics, often finding them stuffy and un-funny through today's lens. But having an interest in food writing led me to read this incredible memoir, by the author who was a pioneer of her craft. What an absolute pleasure it was to read this book.
The Gastronomical Me is essential reading for any home cook or curious expat. I found myself laughing out loud at Fisher's observations of the world and craving the foods she described: luscious heavy cream, sensational wines, and fresh-from-the-water trout. More than just a tale of food, this memoir traces Fisher's formative years sailing back and forth across the ocean and falling in and out of love with the man she married, in a country she learned to love, before the biggest war in history. It will make both your heart and belly ache in the best way possible.— Christy
In 1929, a newly married M.F.K. Fisher said goodbye to a milquetoast American culinary upbringing and sailed with her husband to Dijon, where she tasted real French cooking for the first time. The Gastronomical Me is a chronicle of her passionate embrace of a whole new way of eating, drinking, and celebrating the senses. As she recounts memorable meals shared with an assortment of eccentric and fascinating characters, set against a backdrop of mounting pre-war tensions, we witness the formation not only of her taste but of her character and her prodigious talent.
“I do not know of any one in the United States who writes better prose.” —W.H. Auden
“Poet of the appetites.” —John Updike
“Because The Gastronomical Me is autobiographical, following Mrs. Fisher from childhood to widowhood in different countries, we are able to see its food not only as a matter of personal taste, but as a perpetual emotional and social force within a life. Here are meals as seductions, educations, diplomacies, communions. Unique among the classics of gastronomic writing, with its glamorous but not glamorized settings, its wartime drama and its powerful love story, The Gastronomical Me is a book about adult loss, survival, and love.” —Patricia Storace, The New York Review of Books
“She writes about fleeting tastes and feasts vividly, excitingly, sensuously, exquisitely. There is almost a wicked thrill in following her uninhibited track through the glories of the good life.” —James Beard
“She writes about food as others do about love, but rather better.” —Clifton Fadiman