Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony, France’s Last Best Place

David McAninch. Harper, $28.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-230941-9
In this story of an American cooking his way through France, McAninch does not just go through the motions in order to check his experience off some professional and personal bucket list. He moves his family to the rural area of Gascony for nearly a year and harmoniously integrates himself with the locals; he pays respects to deeply rooted traditions, and falls in love with the area in beautiful and unexpected ways; and he educates readers about hunting and cooking duck. While living in a historic mill, McAninch, his wife, and his young daughter, are at the mercy of every challenge of French living. Among minor language barriers, ancient plumbing issues, and maze-like markets, the seasoned food writer gains a valuable education. McAninch discovers which ducks (mullard vs. mallard) are for cooking; he learns more about the treasure, and staple, that is foie gras; and he observes the subtleties of welcoming guests or offering directions in an area uncharted by Google Maps. Most importantly, through McAninch’s warm and fluid delivery, readers come away with a taste and respect for a regional commodity, a handful of enticing recipes, and a new appreciation for friendships unfettered by origin or boundary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-230942-6
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