In THE FOOD AND WINE OF FRANCE, the influential food writer Edward Behr investigates French cuisine and what it means, in encounters from Champagne to Provence. He tells the stories of French artisans and chefs who continue to work at the highest level. Many people in and out of France have noted for a long time the slow retreat of French cuisine, concerned that it is losing its important place in the country's culture and in the world culture of food. And yet, as Behr writes, good French food remains very, very delicious. No cuisine is better. The sensuousness is overt. French cooking is generous, both obvious and subtle, simple and complex, rustic and utterly refined. A lot of recent inventive food by comparison is wildly abstract and austere. In the tradition of great food writers, Edward Behr seeks out the best of French food and wine. He shows not only that it is as relevant as ever, but he also challenges us to see that it might become the world's next cutting edge cuisine.
I have gift a few copies to friends, and mapped out the must stops for a trip to France. If I follow it I'm sure to gain excess pounds but I will enjoy everyone.
Mr Behr seems to labor under the illusion that the quality of a cuisine is determined by the ingredients it has to work with and he has a particular soft spot for cheese.
However, a cuisine is much like terroir. The grapes, the growers and the winemakers and the weather are as important as the location. The same goes for a cuisine. The ingrediets are only a part of it and not the most important.