Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites by Clotilde Dusoulier

The idiosyncrasies of language can tell us a lot about a culture. In this delightful book, Clotilde Dusoulier, creator of the award-winning food blog Chocolate & Zucchini, delves into the history and meaning of fifty of the French language’s most popular food-related expressions.
Accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations by artist Mélina Josserand, Edible French explores whimsical turns of phrase such as:
Tomber dans les pommes (falling into the apples) = fainting
Se faire rouler dans la farine (being rolled in flour) = being fooled
Avoir un cœur d’artichaut (having the heart of an artichoke) = falling in love easily
A treat of a read for Francophiles and food lovers alike, Edible French is the tastiest way to explore French culture—one that will leave you in high spirits—or, as the French say, vous donnera la pêche (give you the peach).
This book combines several things that I like: French language, food and history.

In Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites, readers learn the meanings of several French food-related idioms. There are also recipes and a quiz at the end to see how much you've learned.

The first things I noticed were the beautiful, classy illustrations and the pretty header fonts. It makes the book appear super elegant, which fits the vibe I imagine French food exudes.

While there are some French and English food-inspired idioms that are identical (there's a list near the end of the book), as well as some idioms that are similar, most of the idioms will seem foreign. I did learn a couple of fun idioms that I might add to my vocabulary, namely "papa gateau" (literally "cake daddy" but really means "doting father"), which my father is, and "avoir un coeur d' artichaut" ("having the heart of an artichoke"), which means someone "who falls in love easily".

I had a lot of fun reading the book, especially trying to pronounce the words and guess the meaning before reading it. The illustrations and the descriptions of food did make me feel hungry, though.

The recipes were a nice touch, although I think the only one my family would be interested in is the French crepe recipe.

As a teaching tool, this book seemed to work as I aced the quiz at the end. :) Although, it didn't really use French, it just asked about the idiom meanings.

Thanks to NetGalley and Perigee Trade for the e-ARC. Publication date of Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites is on October 7, 2014.


  1. The illustrations and fonts are elegant.
  2. It's fun to read about the different idioms and their idioms.
  3. You'll learn a lot. 


  1. Some may eventually get bored of the layout (idiom, translation, meaning, example). 


  1. You consider yourself a Francophile.
  2. You like beautiful watercolor drawings.
  3. You like food. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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