cover image Food Lover's Guide to France

Food Lover's Guide to France

Patricia Wells. Workman Publishing, $16.95 (559pp) ISBN 978-0-89480-306-2

In her typically thorough style, Wells (The Food Lover's Guide to Paris notes fairs and festivals that take place in each region of France: when going to Alsace, for example, one can plan the trip to coincide with the Frog Fair, the Snail Fair, the Sausage Fair, the French Fry Fair, the Stuffed Veal Breast Festival, the Turnip Festival or Sauerkraut Days. But this book is about more than what to eat and where to find it. Wells discusses outstanding restaurants, small and large; recommends lively markets; suggests further reading material; mentions food-related museums (such as one devoted to the art of gathering sea salt); notes shops that sell pottery and kitchen equipment; explains how to choose a Camembert; offers recipes (adapted for the American kitchen); describes the wines and cheeses of each region; and even translates wonderful food-related French idioms (""to have the heart of an artichoke'' is to be fickle). More than a travel guide or cookbook, this exhilarating compendium is a mosaic of the French culinary soul. (June)