March book reviews

Car racing narratives, historical accounts, and foodie inspiration make rainy days less boring


The Gourmands’ Way, Justin Spring, FSG Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 ISBN: 978-0-374-10315-6

Most Britons have long had some knowledge of gastronomy and French culinary excellence – even if it means going ‘Oh la la’ as a friend orders a croissant.

But not so for many Americans and it is the work of six writers, none of them chefs, which largely developed the taste for French cuisine in the years since the Second World War. They wrote the cookbooks and the newspaper articles that opened the eyes of hundreds of thousands of Americans and made their mouths water.

Above all else, it is a book about sensual pleasure. But it is also a new look at the six writers and reveals some facts previously lost in the mists of time.

Take MFK Fisher, author of The Cooking of Provincial France, whose book for Time-Life was described by its editors as ‘not fit ...

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