This book is an attempt in words and pictures to describe places as they are today. Hopefully these impressions are not overly rose-tinted, as Provence is hardly the timeless jewel many would have us believe (in fact, things are moving faster here than almost anywhere else in France), but--and it's a big but--there's still nowhere quite like it. You can still find, without much difficulty, food of the utmost simplicity, in flavours and colours as powerful and as vibrant as the landscape. A morning spent in an open-air market has often rewarded me with not only a groaning basket of vegetables and herbs, but also an eagerly offered recipe to accompany them, a handful of which are included in this book.
However, this is not merely a cookbook. You will, for instance, learn how to play the Provencal game of boules, as well as learning what not to wear when having lunch at the Grand Hotel du Cap; how a dish of boiled garlic offers an effective cure for a hangover, but how the genius of Picasso managed it even quicker. And that for me, Provence was at its most captivating not in the dappled light of summer, but under a blanket of snow one Christmas Day.