Results tagged menu from David Lebovitz

French Handwriting

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One of the things that really wows me about Paris isn’t the chocolate shops, the bakeries, the outdoor markets, or the way people let their dogs just go wherever they happen to want to go; it’s the handwriting.

The French have always been expressive, and expansive, letter writers. If you don’t believe me, you can find online and in books, elaborate forms, templates, and discourses on how to write a letter in French, including the proper opening and closing phrases to use, which, of course, vary tremendously depending on if it’s a formal or familiar contact you’re penning that letter to.

I tend to want to end all letters simply by saying “Cordialement, David”. Because it just seems so easy and to the point. I’m both cordial and polite at the same time, as well as terse and in my book, that’s the trifecta. Or maybe because I live in the age of Twitter and text messaging and tend to write in sound-bites. Or more likely, I’m just too lazy to do the hours of research to find the right way to open and close a letter in French.

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The A-Z Guide to French Food

When I was taking pastry classes at Ecole Lenôtre years ago, they had a shop at the school filled with all sorts of great professional baking equipment. Aside from the room where the croissants were freshly-baked (and handed out) every hour, it was my favorite place at the school.

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PIled up on the shelf was also a stack of slender books: The A-Z of French Food. I flipped though it and was impressed by how much was in this comprehensive little guide, so I bought one. Since then, I’ve used it countless times, and it’s the book that I inevitably reach for first when I have any questions about French dishes, ingredients, or cooking terms, from the normal, to the obscure.

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In fact, I wished I’d had it the week before, when I was sitting in a restaurant and the waiter proudly presented me with a big, steaming cassolette, piled high with tripe. And there I was, thinking that I’d soon be digging into cassoulet, the classic Gascon dish of beans and duck confit. Quelle déception!*

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