Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony--France's Last Best Place

Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony--France's Last Best Place

by David McAninch


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A delicious memoir about the eight months food writer David McAninch spent in Gascony—a deeply rural region of France virtually untouched by mass tourism—meeting extraordinary characters and eating the best meals of his life.

Though he’d been a card-carrying Francophile all of his life, David McAninch knew little about Gascony, an ancient region in Southwest France mostly overlooked by Americans. Then an assignment sent him to research a story on duck. After enjoying a string of rich meals—Armagnac-flambéed duck tenderloins; skewered duck hearts with chanterelles; a duck-confit shepherd’s pie strewn with shavings of foie gras—he soon realized what he’d been missing.

McAninch decided he needed a more permanent fix. He’d fallen in love—not only with the food but with the people, and with the sheer unspoiled beauty of the place. So, along with his wife and young daughter, he moved to an old millhouse in the small village of Plaisance du Gers, where they would spend the next eight months living as Gascons. Duck Season is the delightful, mouthwatering chronicle of McAninch’s time in this tradition-bound corner of France. There he herds sheep in the Pyrenees, harvests grapes, attends a pig slaughter, hunts for pigeons, distills Armagnac, and, of course, makes and eats all manner of delicious duck specialties—learning to rewire his own thinking about cooking, eating, drinking, and the art of living a full and happy life.

With wit and warmth, McAninch brings us deep into this enchanting world, where eating what makes you happy isn’t a sin but a commandment and where, to the eternal surprise of outsiders, locals’ life expectancy is higher than in any other region of France. Featuring a dozen choice recipes and beautiful line drawings, Duck Season is an irresistible treat for Francophiles and gourmands alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062309433
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,231,179
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

David McAninch is the features editor at Chicago magazine and was an editor at Saveur for nine years. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, the New York Daily News, Newsday, Rodale’s Organic Life, and Departures, among other publications. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

Table of Contents

Map ix

1 Fire 1

I Market Day 13

3 The Country Life 21

4 Old School 33

5 Magret 43

6 À Votre Santé 51

7 La Fête 63

8 Beautiful People 75

9 Garbure 87

10 Dinner at Henri's 95

11 Into the Mountains 103

12 Poule au Pot 119

13 Hills and Valleys 127

14 Dessert 143

15 A Day in the Vines 155

16 Slow and Low 165

17 To Bag a Bird 175

18 Noble Spirits 189

19 Aux Armes, Citoyens! 209

20 Chez Guérard 215

21 Le Saint Cochon 223

22 Foie Gras 231

23 Confit 241

24 Apéro 247

25 Last Supper 257

Acknowledgments 259

Recipes 261

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