Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Sweet Life in Paris - Review

Title:  The Sweet Life in Paris
Author:  David Lebovitz
Publisher:  Broadway

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

This book made me hungry!! I probably gained a few pounds just dreaming about the food he talks about - the pastries, the cheese, crepes, chocolates.  I loved the the everyday anecdotes of the author's life in Paris, becoming assimilated into the culture and nuances of life there.  I also learned how to properly slice different kinds of cheeses, which is always good to know.

I loved his chapters on chocolate and coffee- two of my favorite things.  It seems that while Paris has amazing chocolate, and I would love to have some delivered to my door in a turquoise bag from Patrick Rogers  (I would like to try Arrogance please), it appears that I would hate the coffee.  Immensely.  I think that was my favorite part in the book- where he discusses French coffee, and the many ways it can be ordered, and how you should order it if ever in Paris.  Since I practically have a coffee drip attached to me, this is information I can use.   

I plan on passing this book on to my husband, who actually enjoys cooking and baking, and his favorite is French cooking and baking.  Hopefully he will try his hand at some of the recipes provided, such as the financiers, the cinnamon meringue with espresso, and the fromage blanc souffle.  And of course the nutella crepes. 


  1. This book sounds great! I love anything about France. I'll definitely have to check this book out :)

    New follower!

  2. Just reading the review made me hungry! The anecdotes sound like great fun, too!
    Joy's Book Blog


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