Thursday, December 01, 2005

Aloha Friday Cookery Book Review

The Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy
By Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, translated by M.F.K. Fisher

I received this, arguably the bible of gastronomy, from Zach for our anniversary last week. I was very pleased because it has been out of print, and was difficult to find in this translation.

As anyone who has followed my blog thus far knows, M.F.K. Fisher is my very favorite writer, so the glowing, adoring, quality of my review should be of no surprise. This is a wonderful book, written by a man who lived for gastronomy, and who knew his stuff, and translated by his spiritual twin. Fisher considered this to be her magnum opus, and it was the only English translation of Brillat-Savarin's French text (1825) for many years. Fisher adds her own insights to the end of each chapter, and infuses the entire book with her own unique writing style and sensibility. There have been translations since, but they are inferior to this one (in one girl's humble opinion ;->) If you are interested in experiencing it, brook no substitutes.

Needless to say, this was a marvelous gift, and one I will enjoy and cherish far into the future.

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