Biographe, essayiste, Évelyne Bloch-Dano est l’auteure d’une oeuvre souvent primée et traduite où l’on retiendra, entre autres, les biographies de Madame Zola (1997, Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle), Madame Proust (2004, Prix Renaudot de l’essai), Le Dernier Amour de George Sand (2010), mais aussi Jardins de papier (2015) ou le récit Porte de Champerret (2013).
In this charming new book, those veggies finally get their due. In capsule biographies of eleven different vegetables—artichokes, beans, chard, cabbage, cardoons, carrots, chili peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, pumpkins, and tomatoes—Evelyne Bloch-Dano explores the world of vegetables in all its facets, from science and agriculture to history, culture, and, of course, cooking. From the importance of peppers in early international trade to the most recent findings in genetics, from the cultural cachet of cabbage to Proust’s devotion to beef-and-carrot stew, to the surprising array of vegetables that preceded the pumpkin as the avatar of All Hallow’s Eve, Bloch-Dano takes readers on a dazzling tour of the fascinating stories behind our daily repasts.
Spicing her cornucopia with an eye for anecdote and a ready wit, Bloch-Dano has created a feast that’s sure to satisfy gardeners, chefs, and eaters alike.
The charming and erudite first section focuses on history and is devoted to types of gardens ranging from the biblical Garden of Eden to English parklands; the second perceptively considers their role in literary works. Concealed within these cultivated wanderings is also an element of autobiography. Lovers of literature and gardening alike will fall in love with this beautifully written meditation.