Read an Excerpt
"Then came the cassoulet, a steaming sea of pinky-brown beans broken by archipelagos of brown sausage and islands of confit and announced with a stentorian blast of garlic. Gutsy in flavour and texture, the sausage meat was coarsely chunked and stuffed so tightly into its skin that it exploded when I cut into it. The image of a fat woman undoing her corsets hovered briefly in my consciousness. Every bite was an experience, every bean permeated with meaty juices and aromatic with herbs. . . This wasn't the delicate structures of Debussy . . . it was brass bands, Wagner, the entire Ring Cycle, all of Beethoven's Nine played at full volume, and it was slowly, inexorably, anchoring me to my chair. Only by undoing my jeans could I mop up the last trace of juice."