The Sweet Life in Paris

The Sweet Life in Paris

Delicious Adventures in the Worlds Most Glorious--and Perplexing--city

Book - 2009
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Like so many others, David Lebovitz dreamed about living in Paris ever since he first visited the city in the 1980s. Finally, after a nearly two-decade career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, he moved to Paris to start a new life. Having crammed all his worldly belongings into three suitcases, he arrived, hopes high, at his new apartment in the lively Bastille neighborhood.

But he soon discovered it's a different world en France .

From learning the ironclad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men's footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David's story of how he came to fall in love with--and even understand--this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city.

When did he realize he had morphed into un vrai parisien ? It might have been when he found himself considering a purchase of men's dress socks with cartoon characters on them. Or perhaps the time he went to a bank with 135 euros in hand to make a 134-euro payment, was told the bank had no change that day, and thought it was completely normal. Or when he found himself dressing up to take out the garbage because he had come to accept that in Paris appearances and image mean everything.

The more than fifty original recipes, for dishes both savory and sweet, such as Pork Loin with Brown Sugar--Bourbon Glaze, Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Spice Bread, Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, and Mocha--Crème Fraîche Cake, will have readers running to the kitchen once they stop laughing.

The Sweet Life in Paris is a deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the city of lights, cheese, chocolate, and other confections.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2009.
ISBN: 9780767928885
0767928881
Characteristics: xvi, 282 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.

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Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Nov 27, 2017

This is a lovely book. It gives a charming account of an American pastry chef living in Paris. While he discusses the beauty of Paris, he also discusses the day to day life of a Parisian. There were a lot of details I wouldn't have known; shower curtains aren't as common in France, banks don't always have change, and ordering cafe au lait in a restaurant is incorrect. Each chapter also includes recipes, but they all seemed far too ambitious for a bad cook like me!

s
swong1000
Jun 14, 2014

Oh my God, I am in love with this book! So funny and cleverly written... I laughed out loud every few minutes and learned a lot about Parisians. The author is a genius.

g
GLNovak
Jun 06, 2014

I read this book for two reasons. One, I enjoy travel/living the life books, and two, I love cookbooks. This was both all wrapped up in a very chatty style. I got some good tips for getting along in Paris, especially the distinction between cafe au lait and cafe creme - the first is only served at breakfast at home with people who slept in the same home as you, and the second is what you order if you want cream. Apparently if you order just cafe, you get an expresso (sort of like espresso but not as good). The recipes are also interesting and doable by you or me. This is a good book to be reading if you are a stop and starter kind of reader because each very little chapter is a contained unit. Just like little nibbles.

j
jpsdad
Apr 03, 2014

Particularly good read if you are planning a vist to Paris and seeking some insight to local culture and behavior. Lebovitz no doubt has high culinary standards so his recommendations should be very reliable. The author's manner is sweet and humorous and his story of reinventing his life is inspiring. Recipes look great!

ser_library Jan 21, 2014

a good book to dip into, but cloying to read straight through

JCLKimG Oct 25, 2013

This is a hilarious and insightful look into the life of an American transplant. David is a cookbook author who moves to Paris and discovers how to live life as a true Parisian. It will make you laugh out loud...several times.

hugapug Aug 05, 2013

A quick, delightful read about Parisians and their quirks. There are some delicious looking recipes as well that I can't wait to try.

j
janetplanet9
Aug 03, 2012

I'm adding this to my list of favorite food writing memoirs. Lebovitz describes Parisians as some of the most arrogant, inconsiderate, obnoxious people in the world, yet he chooses to live among them and even to emulate them! For all their infuriating quirks, Lebovitz still loves his adopted home and its inhabitants.

a
ABluestocking
Jul 11, 2012

What a wonderful book! David L is witty and sarcastic at the same time and I love it. I love the photos and receipes he has included.
After I returned the book to the library, I bought a copy to own.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

One of the things I liked best about this book is that David Lebovitz is a realist. As an American, he doesn't present his home culture as being superior to the rest of the world in all ways. As an American living in Paris, he doesn't have a dreamy, romantic view of that city either. He's a resident, not a tourist, and describes the ups and downs of living in Paris with great humour. Interesting recipes, too.

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a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

Since only 20 percent of Americans have passports, we don’t get out as much as we should, and our dealings with foreigners are usually on our own turf where they have to play by our rules. We’re not so good at adapting to others, since we’re rarely in a position that requires us to do it. . . . I wonder why when we travel outside the United States we expect people to behave like Americans – even in their own country.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

Where one might traditionally find, say, ceilings, big pieces of crumbly stucco dangled instead, collapsing in shards of papery stalactites, littering everything with dusty flakes of plaster.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

Every Frenchwoman I know loves chocolate so much she has a chocolate cake in her repertoire that she’s committed to memory, one she can make on a moment’s notice.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

The French take their language very, very seriously, and I can’t remember a dinner party where an argument about some aspect of the language didn’t at some point break out and was not resolved until someone went to a bookshelf and pulled out a copy of Larousse, an important fixture in every French household.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

If you really want a cappuccino, go to Italy.

a
andreareads
Jul 01, 2012

It’s considered terribly rude in France to ask someone you meet what they do for a living. . . . We call questions like that “icebreakers.” In France, the _brise-glace_ is, “Where are you from?”

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