Sara Mansfield Taber
- Title: Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf
- Author: Sara Mansfield Taber
- ISBN: 9780807072394
- Page: 290
- Format: Paperback
What is it about bread Why am I, here in the middle of my life, so enad of French loaves Two images kept cropping up two French people sitting in a caf for a long afternoon of eating thick hunks of bread and drinking cups of coffee, and a Frenchman on a bicycle with a loaf slung across his handlebars These visions seemed to depict lives soaked in leisure, where thWhat is it about bread Why am I, here in the middle of my life, so enad of French loaves Two images kept cropping up two French people sitting in a caf for a long afternoon of eating thick hunks of bread and drinking cups of coffee, and a Frenchman on a bicycle with a loaf slung across his handlebars These visions seemed to depict lives soaked in leisure, where there was time for the good things Then this thought ambled forth It s the dailiness of bread, like a reliable friend My plan starts to billow forth My project, as I imagine it, will be a natural history, an ecology of bread The story of a loaf.Overcome by a passion for French bread, Sara Mansfield Taber travels to Brittany in search of a loaf, which like the lifestyle that must surely accompany it, is perfect in its simplicity After many months of seeking, she tears off a hunk of pain trois rivi res, made by Gold Medal baker Monsieur Jean Claude Choquet of Blain, Loire Atlantique It smelled like heaven and tasted a mile deep It tasted honest Here was her loaf.In Bread of Three Rivers Taber takes us deep into the grainy crumb, uncovering the four basic ingredients the salt, water, wheat, and yeast that when combined by M Choquet make for a spectacular loaf We learn of the marshy fields of Gu rande where for hundreds of years salt, blessed with a unique mixture of microbes and minerals that lend their flavor to the bread , has been harvested with the help of the sun Then we re off to Moulin de Pont James to meet the miller, who whispers to Taber that he actually uses strong American wheat from North Dakota to fortify the local harvest Then to Nantes to engage the organic wheat farmer In Nort sur Erdre we discover an ancient natural aquifer, composed of sand and limestone somewhere between 8 million and 50 million years ago We end our journey in Lille at the Lesaffre Yeast Company, where the alchemy responsible for everything from American white loaves to Turkish flatbread is revealed.A deliciously satisfying mixture of history, science, travel narrative, and romance could anything be powerful than bread love , Bread of Three Rivers reminds us that nothing, no matter how basic, is as simple as it would seem.
Recent Comments "Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf"
Comparing this to "A Year In Provence" is a joke, isn't it? This isn't a "gee, aren't the French cute and grumpy" sort of book. While this book does have charm in its portrayals of the people she interviews,a good deal of it is taken up by technical descriptions of how yeast is made, how drinking water is processed, etc. The sort of person who loves a Mayle book's eyes will glaze over.Truthfully, I found Taber's detailed descriptions a bit hard to focus on myself--I think she could have found wa [...]
I love the idea of this book, but the reality just didn't do it for me. I expected the book to be more about the search for the perfect loaf of bread, but the author had basically discovered the bread she wanted to profile from the beginning, so the book was more about the technical aspects of the bread and its ingredients. I think that this could have been very interesting, but it just wasn't. I never wanted to read the book even though the writing was good, and when I realized that it felt mor [...]
A little chemistry - some geopolitical issues - a bit of cuisine - and some agriculture. It all adds up to a delightful read from an author who wanted to get the bottom of what exactly makes a wonderful loaf of French bread. Is is the yeast? The salt? The water? The wheat (much of which, it turns out, comes from Nebraska)? Or is it just French traditional savoir-faire? A bit of all that, as the author discovers in conversations with salt farmers, hydro-engineers, bakers, and others involved in t [...]
Actually a 3.5 star rating; I enjoyed the author's journey of discovery that her idealized loaf of French bread consisting of four simple ingredients, flour, water, salt and yeast was much more a discovery of culture, science, modern society and life, especially of what makes each of us different but ultimately the same. Any reader of John McPhee and perhaps William Least Heat-Moon should find this book enjoyable.
Salt, water, wheat & yeast
In a search for good bread, Ms. Taber travels to France not only visiting a baker but also following the sources of the ingredients: salt, wheat, water and yeast.
Good gathering of information; the writing varies and is sometimes clumsy.
I took a workshop on the Personal Essay with Sara this weekend. Am looking forward to reading her book!
makes you want to go out and find a good bread bakery or better yet, take a trip to France and find a good bread bakery.
90% boring, 10% charming, but I will hear what the book club has to say.
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