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The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Alfred a Knopf Inc
Publication date October 25, 2011
Pages 293
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780307593450
ISBN-10 0307593452
Dimensions 1.25 by 6 by 9.75 in.
Weight 0.26 lbs.
Availability§ Publisher Out of Stock Indefinitely
Original list price $25.95
§As reported by publisher
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: Never before have we cared so much about food. It preoccupies our popular culture, our fantasies, and even our moralizing—“You still eat meat?” 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. It is a journey that begins in eighteenth-century France—the birthplace of our modern tastes (and, by no coincidence, of the restaurant)—and carries us to the kitchens of the White House, the molecular meccas of Barcelona, and beyond. To understand why so many of us apparently live to eat, Gopnik delves into the most burning questions of our time, including: Should a Manhattanite bother to find chicken killed in the Bronx? Is a great vintage really any better than a good bottle of wine? And: Why does dessert matter so much?
 
Throughout, he reminds us of a time-honored truth often lost amid our newfound gastronomic pieties and certitudes: What goes on the table has never mattered as much to our lives as what goes on around the table—the scene of families, friends, lovers coming together, or breaking apart; conversation across the simplest or grandest board. This, ultimately, is who we are.
 
Following in the footsteps of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Adam Gopnik gently satirizes the entire human comedy of the comestible as he surveys the wide world of taste that we have lately made our home. The Table Comes First is the delightful beginning of a new conversation about the way we eat now.

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780307593450 Book cover for 9781849162869
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from Alfred a Knopf Inc (October 25, 2011)
9780307593450 | details & prices | 293 pages | 6.00 × 9.75 × 1.25 in. | 0.26 lbs | List price $25.95
About: Never before have we cared so much about food.
from Gardners Books (September 29, 2011)
9781849162869 | details & prices | 304 pages | 6.00 × 9.25 × 1.25 in. | 1.20 lbs | List price $29.35
About: Our modern society is very particular about what constitutes good food: local, seasonal, organic produce that doesn't overly impact on the environment.
Paperback
Book cover for 9780307476968
 
from Vintage Books (August 21, 2012)
9780307476968 | details & prices | 317 pages | 5.25 × 8.50 × 0.75 in. | 0.60 lbs | List price $15.95
About: 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.

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