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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Peter Mayle eats his way across France in this charming blend of travelogue and food lover's journal. Fans of Mayle's previous travel books know that the author's favorite stomping ground is Provence, where the leisurely pace allows room for lingering over meals -- one of Mayle's favorite activities. In French Lessons, Mayle broadens his horizons and sets out on a gastronomic voyage to every region of France, ready to eat and drink his way into blissful oblivion. Along the way, Mayle unearths rare local delicacies, irresistible recipes, and eccentric characters, while ingesting plenty of red wine, piquant cheese, and escargots.
An experienced travel writer who has spent many years living in France, Mayle knows the secret to drawing locals out of their shell: Tell them you're a foreigner seeking "guidance and advice." You will inevitably find your wine glass replenished, your plate piled high with unusual delights, and your ear filled with the intricacies of making foie gras, omelettes, cheese, or wine. Armed with this secret, Mayle travels all over France to attend the country's most famous food festivals: the Foire aux Escargots in Martigny, a celebration of the snail; Les Glorieuses in Bresse, home of the chicken elite; and the messe des truffes in Richerenches, a mass held in honor of the fabulous black truffle.
Mayle's subtle comic flair, and his passion for discovering off-the-beaten-path gems, make French Lessons an engaging and witty travelogue, as well as a great guide for foodies seeking to sample the culinary delights of France. (Julie Carr)