Paris is a Nice Dish -- Its Recipes and Restaurants (1952)


by Osborne Putnam Stearns, Henry Regency Co., first printing, 1952. A nostalgic delight. Hardback with illustrated black cover and wraparound, 169 pages. An engaging look at the fare in post-War Paris bistros and restaurants.

The classics abound, although some they call them clichés or old-fashioned today: Pommes de Terre a la Lyonnaise, Escargot a la Bordelaise, Soupe a l'Oignon, Ragout d'Agneau, Crepes a la Péche. Each recipe is prefaced by a delightful personal and historical culinary essay (a chat, really). For example, he informs us before offering the recipe for Polete Marengo that it was created by Napoleon's cook at the Battle of Marengo, in Italy. The chef had run out of butter and, desperate, foraged local ingredients like olive oil. onions, mushrooms and garlic instead. The Little General was wowed, and a classic was born.

The author traveled widely overseas, and in the '40s and '50s, hosted a syndicated radio show on food, especially that of other lands. The show drew 2,000 letters a week, most asking for recipes, which he provided.

The photo on the back cover shows him (he looks like a smiling T.S. Eliot) tucking into a...(why, of course) truffled turkey. The book is in very good condition: pages color have tanned, and DJ has wear at extremities. VG+/G.

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