By their stomachs ye shall know them. From the thigh-tasters of Vitel to the truffle mass of St Antoine, the French are enticingly captured by the master.
Gastronomy is a wonderful starting point to study France and the French. As the retired schoolmaster from Provence says 'The religion of France is food. And wine, of course.' And they put their money where their mouth is, spending a greater proportion of their income on food and drink than any other nation in the world. Literally hundreds of gastronomic fairs and festivals take place throughout the year all over France - a frog fair, an hommage to the sausage, to the turnip, to the quiche and the noble Camembert. What kind of person is a snail-fancier Is there a brotherhood of sausage connoisseurs How can you devote an entire weekend to the French fry Peter Mayle finds out and brings hilariously and affectionately to life the people who can get passionate about a frog's leg or a well-turned omelette. Over ten years ago he transformed our feelings about Provence, now he captures the irresistible essence of France herself - and her food.
Peter Mayle's idyllic portrait makes you almost taste the wonderful food and wine, feel the sun and balmy breezes - SUNDAY EXPRESS
Delightfully readable. The style is high comedy and Mayle is bitingly funny about local rural mores. But the jokeyness only partly obscures Mayle's warm enthusiasm for local life and landscape. - SUNDAY TIMES
A gastronomic delight. - SUNDAY TRIBUNE