Despite another puzzle whose theme and consist were practically tailor made for me, I still FWOEd - with a slightly less dumb error than yesterday. I misspelled the names of both Philosopher Lao-TsE and Prime Minister SHINsOABE in one stroke. It looked legit but apparently it wasn't. :)
I relished the theme - literal translations of French food items. Once I got to the revealer, FRENCHCHEF (Julia Child's PBS show, with "The" ... or one associated with the answers to the starred clues), the four theme answers went like hot cakes. BOUILLABAISSE was new to me - translation-wise. I'd never really thought about it before, perhaps because I've never had it before. I don't take a fruit de mer.
In addition to the French menu items, a number of other entries combined to give the puzzle an international zest:
"____ und Drang" (STURM)
"Food that comes in rolls" (SUSHI)
"Like about 17% of the land in Holland" (RECLAIMED) - I wonder if the statistic applies literally to Holland, or The Netherlands as a whole.
"Ancient Icelandic literary work" (EDDA)
There were some other tasty small bites as well:
"Pricey bar" (INGOT)
"Example of change" (DIME) - nice one, but I wasn't fooled.
"Rose no longer seen in fields (PETE)
I also liked SHUN, PEP, and, of course, ASIMOV.
The puzzle had, perhaps, too liberal a sprinkling of abbreviations, partials, and three-letter fill (EMT, LAS, SAO, AAA, et al.) to earn a five-star rating, but ASWITH all matters of taste, de gustibus non disputandum est.