I’ve Got Mail: Julia in Paris

Anyone who knows anything about Julia – and everyone who has seen the film – knows how important France was to Julia.  She loved the country deeply and considered it one of the great acts of good fortune that she was able to live in Paris.  You understand that from her book, My Life in France, from her biography and from the film, and what’s so wonderful is that that love never wavered all through her life.

From 1995 until she died, every time I’d return from Paris, I’d call Julia to report on my adventures.  And every time she’d ask me the same questions:

“Is Paris still beautiful?”

“Is the food still wonderful?”

And, from time to time she’d ask: “Can you still get cooked beets in the market?”

It was always fun to be able to tell Julia that Paris was still achingly beautiful, that you could still eat wonderfully well and that yes, you could still get cooked beets in the market, big fat ones that the vendor would spear with a long two-pronged fork.

I’m thrilled that Julie&Julia will be shown in Paris, and so hope that many, many French people will come to know Julia through the film.  Sadly, the woman who taught so many of us how to cook – and appreciate – la cuisine francaise is almost unknown in the country she loved. 

But those who knew her, love her.  The next time you’re in Dehillerin buying an inexpensive pastry brush or a copper pot that costs the earth, look up when you get to the cashier.  There, on the back wall, you’ll see a picture of Julia.  It’s an old one and I love Dehillerin for keeping it there even though most people who shop at the store don’t have a clue who that woman is or why she should be looking over them.

Dorie Greenspan