With 50 Foods, noted authority Edward Behr has created the definitive guide to the foods every food lover must know. A culinary Baedeker, 50 Foods will delight and inform the connoisseur as well as the novice.
 
Like Behr’s celebrated magazine, The Art of Eating, 50 Foods presents simple, practical information about buying, using, preparing, and enjoying. Behr focuses on aroma, appearance, flavor, and texture to determine what “the best” means for each food. He tells you how to select top quality—signs of freshness and ripeness, best season, top varieties, proper aging. If the way to prepare, serve, or eat something is little known, then he explains it (how to open an oyster, why the best way to cook green beans is boiling, how to clean a whole salted anchovy, when to eat and when to discard the rind of a cheese). Behr also names the most complementary foods and flavors for each of these fifty marvelous foods and the wines that go with them.
 
The fifty selections provide a broad sensory range for the modern gourmet. Most of the foods are raw materials, but some have been fermented or otherwise transformed—into bread, ham, cheese. Six of the fifty are cheeses. As Behr explains, cheese is probably the best food, as wine is the best drink. Behr argues that food tastes more delicious when it is closer to nature. Skilled low technology is almost always superior to high technology. But with scientific insight, the old methods can be refined to achieve more consistent high quality.
 
We can’t always have the best, but with the information in this book we can eat better every day. Knowing good food is part of a complete understanding of the world—part of a full enjoyment of nature, a full experience of the senses, a full life.
 
For the connoisseur at any level, 50 Foods is a beautifully written guide to deliciousness, with color illustrations by Mikel Jaso throughout.
One of Christopher Kimball’s Six Favorite Books About Food

A beautiful and deeply researched investigation into French cuisine, from the founding editor of The Art of Eating and author of 50 Foods.

In THE FOOD AND WINE OF FRANCE, the influential food writer Edward Behr investigates French cuisine and what it means, in encounters from Champagne to Provence. He tells the stories of French artisans and chefs who continue to work at the highest level. Many people in and out of France have noted for a long time the slow retreat of French cuisine, concerned that it is losing its important place in the country's culture and in the world culture of food. And yet, as Behr writes, good French food remains very, very delicious. No cuisine is better. The sensuousness is overt. French cooking is generous, both obvious and subtle, simple and complex, rustic and utterly refined. A lot of recent inventive food by comparison is wildly abstract and austere. In the tradition of great food writers, Edward Behr seeks out the best of French food and wine. He shows not only that it is as relevant as ever, but he also challenges us to see that it might become the world's next cutting edge cuisine.

France remains the greatest country for bread, cheese, and wine, and its culinary techniques are the foundation of the training of nearly every serious Western cook and some beyond. Behr talks with chefs and goes to see top artisanal producers in order to understand what "the best" means for them, the nature of traditional methods, how to enjoy the foods, and what the optimal pairings are. As he searches for the very best in French food and wine, he introduces a host of important, memorable people. 

THE FOOD AND WINE OF FRANCE is a remarkable journey of discovery. It is also an investigation into why classical French food is so extraordinarily delicious--and why it will endure.
With 50 Foods, noted authority Edward Behr has created the definitive guide to the foods every food lover must know. A culinary Baedeker, 50 Foods will delight and inform the connoisseur as well as the novice. Like Behr's celebrated magazine, the Art of Eating, 50 Foods presents simple, practical information about buying, using, preparing, and enjoying. Behr focuses on aroma, appearance, flavor, and texture to determine what "the best" means for each food. He tells you how to select top quality-signs of freshness and ripeness, best season, top varieties, proper aging. If the way to prepare, serve, or eat something is little known, then he explains it (how to open an oyster, why the best way to cook green beans is boiling, how to clean a whole salted anchovy, when to eat and when to discard the rind of a cheese). Behr also names the most complementary foods and flavors for each of these fifty marvelous foods and the wines that go with them. The fifty selections provide a broad sensory range for the modern gourmet. Most of the foods are raw materials, but some have been fermented or otherwise transformed-into bread, ham, cheese. Six of the fifty are cheeses. As Behr explains, cheese is probably the best food, as wine is the best drink. Behr argues that food tastes more delicious when it is closer to nature. Skilled low technology is almost always superior to high technology. But with scientific insight, the old methods can be refined to achieve more consistent high quality. We can't always have the best, but with the information in this book we can eat better every day. Knowing good food is part of a complete understanding of the world-part of a full enjoyment of nature, a full experience of the senses, a full life. For the connoisseur at any level, 50 Foods is a beautifully written guide to deliciousness.
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