Book Review: Taste the World in Marseille: Marseille Cuisine by the Marseillais
When you think of global food capitals and delicious street food, does Marseille spring to mind?
If not, Taste the World in Marseille: Marseille Cuisine by the Marseillais will convince you to book a trip and stay long enough to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and discover the innovative chefs and cheffes using ingredients from around the world for their recipes. The book’s author, Vérane Frédiani, is a Marseille native fascinated with the multicultural diversity and culinary innovation in this 2600-year-old city.
About the Author
Vérane Frédiani is a filmmaker, journalist, food lover, and feminist from Marseille. She is the author of several documentary films, The Goddesses of Food, Steak (R) Evolution, Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur, des étoiles à la Lune, and several books: Cheffes, Elles Cuisinent.
Why Focus on Marseille?
“Marseille is my hometown. I grew up here, on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean, close, yet so far, from the Côte d’Azur, frolicking in this less-chic part of Provence, with Paris at my back, far north behind our hills. It felt like a corner of the world, disconnected from the rest of France and despised by it. The oldest city in France, once rich but now poor, opens its arms to all the Mediterranean and beyond.” ~ Vérane Frédiani
The book was initially published in French, Marseille Cuisine le Monde, on June 24, 2021. Alexis Steinman, an American, completed the translation, and like Vérane Frédiani, she is also an explorer and a storyteller. Fully bilingual, Steinman settled in Marseille, a city that continually feeds her curiosity and her stomach. For this talented writer, the port city offers endless opportunities to share stories under its cultural quilt. Who better than a passionate food lover to translate Taste the World in Marseille: Marseille Cuisine by the Marseillais?
Vérane Frédiani’s book includes 75 recipes and features 60 chefs and food purveyors in Marseille. Residents of France’s oldest and second largest city, les Marseillais, are a long way from Paris both physically and in spirit. Marseille has a reputation as a bit gritty and edgy for those looking in from the outside. However, the city is unique for the Marseillais, with diverse neighbourhoods, imaginative food, and creative cuisine. Frédiani invites you into the belly of the culinary scene in Marseille in the local markets, food stores, chef’s kitchens, and their larders.
“Marseille and its vibrant mix of flavours are embodied by the city’s cooks. France’s oldest city and its great southern gateway spread out along the Mediterranean is unique because its history is unique. The inhabitants of Marseille have shaped the rebellious character and singular identity of this fascinating cosmopolitan French seaport over the last 2600 years and for once, it’s one of them, Marseillaise Vérane Frédiani who got to tell it all about its seductive joie de vivre through food.” ~ Press Release, Editions de La Martinière
At 288 pages, Taste the World in Marseille: Marseille Cuisine by the Marseillais is a deep dive into the food scene in the city. Filled with beautiful photos by Frédiani and others, the book includes recipes, chef (cheffe) profiles, restaurants, and stores to add to your must-try list. While Marseille is famous for bouillabaisse, Frédiani highlights the culinary range found in her birth city. This Mediterranean city has plenty of street food, including pizza, panisse and pan bagnat. Alternatively, there are many options for more traditional Provencal dishes such as pieds paquets, stuffed aubergine, and ratatouille. However, Frédiani’s goal is to introduce the reader to various cuisines from the Mediterranean basin, Asia, and beyond, discover couscous, Tunisian kefteji, Armenian ravioli, Algerian chorba and even Mexican tacos.
The best part? There is no need to make a list of must-try places. They are all listed in the index at the end of the book.
Who Should Read the Book?
Taste the World in Marseille: Marseille Cuisine by the Marseillais is for anyone who loves cooking, fresh ingredients, and inspiring chefs. For visitors to Marseille who don’t want a mediocre meal in a “tourist trap,” this book is a must-have resource. This book is a terrific gift for someone who enjoys innovative cuisine and aspiring chefs.
“This cookbook offers something for everyone, whether fish lover, meat eater, or street food enthusiast… one bite at a time.”
Where to Buy a Copy
Both the original French version and the English translation are available on Amazon.
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