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Exibindo 9 de 9
A very enjoyable history of one of my favorite things. Covers the history of chocolate, the growing of it, the manufacturing of it, the different styles of making it. Comprehensive without being heavy.
 
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bgknighton | outras 2 resenhas | Sep 20, 2023 |
Mort Rosenblum, former editor of the International Herald Tribune, purchased 5 acres in Provence with an overgrown grove of 150 olive trees which were old when the Sun King ruled France. To Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the olive is a symbol of wisdom, fertility, and peace. Those who live among the olive trees describe their air as pure and their lives as full. Mort became obsessed with olives as he began to restore the grove on his land. He journeyed to Andalusia, the Holy Land, Tunisia and Morocco, the Greek Islands, Bosnia, Italy, Mexico, and California to tell the story of the olive, the growers, the olive oil makers and those who share his passion. This book is a homage to the olive which he describes as an essential ingredient in any life worth living.
 
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winehistoryproject | 1 outra resenha | Sep 16, 2019 |
This is Mort’s version of ”The Rise and Fall of the French Empire” recounted through the perspective of its colonies. It quickly becomes apparent that whilst the French Empire shared certain ambitions with the British - the need to bring ‘civilization’ to the territories it held - the one remarkable difference between the two is that most of the inhabitants of the French colonies were granted full citizenship. Became French in fact.

Of course the civilization had to French and approved and controlled and, in French. Mort loves France and lived in Paris, speaks French, writes about the food, culture, wines and olives of France with a contagious passion. But he pulls no punches which is why the French reviews considered his book as an indictment.

In fact, it is not, just reasoned. And full of his love for “La Belle France”. An excellent, readable book offering a history of that empire and its peoples with flair and style.
 
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John_Vaughan | Sep 9, 2014 |
The Seine is a river that enchants virtually everyone who sees it. Its banks are replete with history and beautiful scenery, and, while it's no Mississippi, it has shoals and sand bars enough for river men to constantly mark the twain.

Rosenblum decided to write a book about the Seine's secret life that he discovered almost by chance. He and his girlfriend lost the lease on their apartment so they purchased a fifty-four foot ex-yacht from some friends who coincidentally had to return to England. La Vieille - appropriately named because it has multiple meanings in French: the old bitch, the old lady, one's wife - had been their home for many years.

Soon Rosenblum learned why they had enjoyed it so much. The busy traffic the port of Paris handled the equivalent of a million truckloads of material - means that sleeping is often like being subjected to a multitude of minor earthquakes. It's not a good place if you habitually drop your keys. A next door neighbor dropped hers overboard and the services of an entire department frogmen were needed to retrieve them.

The Seine had a downside. Often the river's contents could make an environmentalist gag, and scientists have discovered fifty-seven different kinds of pollutants. Historical traditions occasionally reflected excess. In 1958, watching from a bridge, one could see log-like objects floating past Closer inspection revealed the bodies of Algerians killed as reprisal for Frenchmen murdered in Algiers. Tradition required the bodies be dumped in the river. Where they eventually landed is perhaps better not asked. Today, a huge net traps everything that comes down the river, and anything resembling human remains is investigated and reported.
 
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ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Thoroughly enjoyable book for foodies and Francophiles, even with the more serious parts probing the issues of multiculturalism and French identity. Does much better than "Au Revoir to All That" at really capturing the flavors of the food and the people who persist at making it despite the rise of "McDo" fast food and the increasing bureaucracy of food regulations (thanks to the EU).
 
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simchaboston | Sep 26, 2011 |
I should read this one... but it will be another downer and I already know how insular Americans are.
 
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kwkslvr | Nov 13, 2010 |
Loved it. Good food history and I appreciated the inclusion of recipes. Asked for olive oils from different countries for my birthday.
 
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dionnedock | 1 outra resenha | Oct 11, 2007 |
A deliciously sensual, hedonistic book, Rosenblum understands that chocolate is not only about food, about taste. It's about hedonsim, debauchery, sensory pleasure and passion. Rosenblum does tend a little towards the chocolate snobbery, but manages to step back before he reaches the offensive point with it. A scrumptiously sexy book.
 
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sleepydumpling | outras 2 resenhas | Jul 7, 2007 |
Exibindo 9 de 9