The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

February 26, 2020 - Comment

From the author of Paris to the Moon, a beguiling tour of the morals and manners of our present food mania, in search of eating’s deeper truths. Never before have we cared so much about food. It preoccupies our popular culture, our fantasies, and even our moralizing. With our top chefs as deities and finest restaurants

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(as of February 26, 2020 2:49 pm GMT+0000 - Details)

From the author of Paris to the Moon, a beguiling tour of the morals and manners of our present food mania, in search of eating’s deeper truths.
 
Never before have we cared so much about food. It preoccupies our popular culture, our fantasies, and even our moralizing. With our top chefs as deities and finest restaurants as places of pilgrimage, we have made food the stuff of secular seeking and transcendence, finding heaven in a mouthful. But have we come any closer to discovering the true meaning of food in our lives? With inimitable charm and learning, Adam Gopnik takes us on a beguiling journey in search of that meaning as he charts America’s recent and rapid evolution from commendably aware eaters to manic, compulsive gastronomes.

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: Adam Gopnik again demonstrates his considerable talents in The Table Comes First, a collection of musings on one of his favorite subjects: food. Fans of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children’s Gate know that Gopnik is a true gourmand whose tastes have been refined in the kitchen with his friend Alice Waters, on the velvet banquettes of Parisian bistros, and at chaotic New York City takeout counters. These essays cover a broad range of food-related topics, including the origins of the modern restaurant and the arguments for and against eating meat. But Gopnik’s overarching mission is to celebrate the pleasures of sitting around a table and sharing a meal with family and friends–a pleasure, he notes, that is at once universal and deeply personal. It is at this intersection of macro and micro where Gopnik’s insatiable intellect and warmth are best displayed. –Juliet Disparte

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