A celebration of French cuisine and culture, from a culinary adventurer who made his mark decades before Anthony Bourdain arrived on the scene.
Traveling through the provinces, cities, and remote country towns that make up France, Waverley Root discovers not only the Calvados and Camembert cheese of Normandy, the haute cuisine of Paris, and the hearty bouillabaisse of Marseilles, but also the local histories, customs, and geographies that shape the French national character.
Here are the origins of the Plantagenet kings and Rabelais’s favorite truffle-flavored sausages, and the tale of how the kitchens of Versailles cooked for one thousand aristocrats and four thousand servants in a single day. Here, too, are notes on the proper time of year to harvest snails; the Moorish influences on the confections of the Pyrenees, where the plumpest geese are raised; and the age of the oldest olive tree in Provence. In short, here is France for the chef, the traveler, and the connoisseur of fine prose, with maps and line drawings throughout.
Waverley Root was a foreign correspondent in Europe for nearly fifty years, representing the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Time, and other outlets. He also contributed regularly to The New York Times Magazine, International Herald Tribune, and Gourmet. Among his books are The Food of Italy, The Food of… More about Waverley Root
“The most lucid and definitive book ever written in English on a cuisine that has flourished for centuries.” —Craig Claiborne, The New York Times
“This taste saga merits huzzahs. . . . I hail Mr. Root’s research. . . . History, architecture, scenery, traditions furnish his place settings [and] color his commentary from Cro-Magnon cave living to haute cuisine.” —The New York Times