Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local

This narrative cookbook (256 pages) was published in March of 2018 by Clarkson Potter. The book takes you to paris. Melissa read Tasting Paris and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

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Tasting Paris

100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local

Clotilde Dusoulier

This book from native Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier reads like a travel guide and cookbook fell madly in love — in Paris, n’est-ce pas — and created a beautiful handbook that embodies the best of both.

From the first page, breezy writing whisks you away to Paris: ‘There are so many ways a day can unfold in Paris. Will it begin with a flaky croissant dipped in café au lait, or a slice of rye and red miso bread from the city’s most innovative baker?’

Inspired by the recipes on restaurant menus in every arrondissement, each page of this book is a temptation: full-page photos of landmarks; colorful, rustic, tempting food; essays that show that the city, even for life-long Parisians, holds a particular kind of romance.

French cooking is a celebration of fresh, local ingredients. The recipes for classic French dishes — Roast Chicken with Herbed Butter, Chicken & Pistachio Terrine, Steak Frites, a bakery’s worth of pastries and breads — represent the long, buttery history of French cuisine.

But the menus of Paris are also multicultural, with flavors from India, Morocco, the Caribbean, Armenia, Lebanon, Turkey, Vietnam, and Tunisia, as well as Jewish and vegetarian influences, and recipes inspired by Michelin stars. Turkish Lamb with Eggplant, Moroccan Orange Salad, Chicken Colombo with Plantains, Tunisian Sandwich, and our favorite: the Potato Chip & Chive Omelet.

The recipes are organized by daypart with short essays, like this love letter to the morning: ‘a bakery, shelves loaded, the warm smell of croissants wafting out of the sidewalk vents; and a neighborhood café, where a handful of customers gulp down expressos at the zinc counter.’

Or this ode to the afternoon: ‘Le goûter is a prime moment for indulgence… to bite into a warm apple turnover as you walk from one appointment to the next, brushing flaky crumbs from the front of your jacket…‘

The author is like an encouraging sous chef who’s always at your side, offering tips and expert advice so you can ‘adopt the smug air of the cook who can whip up a bistro classic in minutes.’ The instructions are clear, her words are encouraging. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day in Paris eating things and talking about life with this woman?

In addition to the recipes, the book also delivers an insider’s look at Paris culinary history, the current restaurant scene, how to shop in the Paris street markets, and tips for first-rate picnicking along the Seine. It’s a step-by-step way to bring the tastes of Paris into your own kitchen — and to plan your personal eating tour through the city on your next trip.

What I think of most when I wander my hometown is food: Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to me, means macarons from Pierre Hermé and Les Halles roast chicken from the Champeaux brasseries. The Tuileries, bordered on the north by rue de Rivoli, bring to mind Angelina and thus hot chocolate, and the cafés near Porte Dauphine, where I spent my student years, evoke the satisfying croque-madame, the velvety yolk dripping down the crust of the bread. Barbés seduces with couscous; Belleville comforts with Chinese rice soup… it’s all here waiting for you to hop off at the closest metro station, push open a door, and walk in. — Clotilde Dusoulier

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