Learning how to eat like Julia Child

Flamiche – Quiche aux Poireaux a la Julia Child. Photo via Flickr by axelsrose, who writes: “I’m not really sure why Julia demands pea sized dallops of butter on top of the cheese, especially given that the leeks are basically boiled in butter and the pastry made up of about fifty percent of the stuff. Still, who am I to doubt Julia Child?” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This week marked the 100th anniversary of Julia Child‘s birth, and author, chef, and former magazine editor Tamar Adler honored the occasion with a lovely essay for The New Yorker. As she writes,

Julia learned how to eat. She did not preserve and shelter her plain, perfectly good Pasadena palate by moving to France and then cooking there, then writing books. She let herself taste and smell differently. She took seriously the smells and rhythms around her, and noticed how they changed her perception—and she came to like them.

That process was what started it all. It’s right there in the first pages of her memoir, and it’s at the heart of her mastering something enviable and unique, becoming someone who cooked well but not perfectly, whose tastes ran the gamut, and who didn’t make exceptions or put foods into categories according to what she was supposed to like but didn’t, or what was theoretically “good” but in some way “bad.”

The full piece is worth a read, so check it out here.

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