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book coverAlmost French

Book Review - Excerpt 1
Continued from page 1

Eating in France

"Before arriving in France, I hardly ever had more than two courses at restaurants and was totally unaccustomed to rich flavors. In a not so distant life in Australia, I had a refrigerator full of soy and skim milks and low-fat yogurts alive with apparently desirable cultures. My cupboards contained costly health food-shop items such as bee pollen granules and lecithin....I could quite easily have turned vegetarian.

"But France took care of that.

"These days, breakfast is a café crème with a croissant or a pain au chocolat, which I guess is a bit like starting the day with coffee and cake. When Frédéric has time he prepares a fresh fruit salad--served with snowdrifts of full-fat fromage blanc, sold straight from the farm at our local cheese shop.....I can no longer tolerate skimming anything, and studiously avoid low-salt products--the butter I buy is packed with crunchy crystals from Brittany.

"...France has this effect on foreigners. It turns your eating habits and food principles upside down so that before long you're rhapsodizing about the delicate silkiness of foie gras entier without a thought for the fat content, let alone the poor goose or duck who was force-fed with a tube down his throat. The damage is irreparable--there's no turning back to muesli after flaky pastries filled with ribbons of dark chocolate."

Sarah Turnbull
Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris

Read Excerpt 2: Service in Parisian shops and restaurants


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