The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence

The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence

by Edward Behr


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One of Christopher Kimball’s Six Favorite Books About Food

A beautiful and deeply researched investigation into French cuisine, from the founding editor of The Art of Eating and author of 50 Foods.

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.

France remains the greatest country for bread, cheese, and wine, and its culinary techniques are the foundation of the training of nearly every serious Western cook and some beyond. Behr talks with chefs and goes to see top artisanal producers in order to understand what "the best" means for them, the nature of traditional methods, how to enjoy the foods, and what the optimal pairings are. As he searches for the very best in French food and wine, he introduces a host of important, memorable people. 

THE FOOD AND WINE OF FRANCE is a remarkable journey of discovery. It is also an investigation into why classical French food is so extraordinarily delicious--and why it will endure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594204524
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 649,557
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Edward Behr is the founder of the acclaimed food magazine the Art of Eating and the author of 50 Foods and The Art of Eating Cookbook. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He lives in Vermont.

Graham Halstead is a Brooklyn-based actor and voice artist. His voice work includes animation, commercials, and Audie and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning audiobook narration. His work in the theater includes performances in New York, regionally in Washington DC, and internationally in Edinburgh and London.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 There's No French Food Without French Bread Nantes, Brittany, and 6th Arrondissement, Paris, Ile de France 5

2 The Struggle and Triumph of Haute Cuisine 7th and 15th Arrondissements, Paris, Ile de France 17

3 The Vegetables of the King Versailles, Ile de France 35

4 The Croissant: Tender Richness and Crunch 14th Arrondissement, Paris, Ile de France 43

5 The New-Old Sense of Champagne Épernay Avize, Champagne 51

6 High-Scented Sausage Troyes, Champagne 65

7 A Sense of Welcome and Wistub Brenner Colmar, Alsace 73

8 The Odor Is Part of the Reward Lapoutroie, Alsace 79

9 The Kugelhopf of Christine Ferber Niedermorschwihr, Alsace 87

10 Comté: High Pastures, Joint Efforts, and a Big Mountain Cheese Labergement-Sainte-Marie Le Fort Saint-Antoine Franche-Comté 97

11 Vin Jaune: The Virtue of Rancidity Château-Chalon Franche-Comté 111

12 Vinegar in Barrels Orléans, Orléanais 127

13 "The Bread Was Better, It's True" Tours, Touraine 133

14 A Point of Reference for Pure Cabernet Franc Chacé, Anjou 141

15 The Slope at the World Center of Sauvignon Wine Chavignol, Berry 147

16 Parsleyed Ham Dijon, Burgundy 155

17 A Spice Cake Lost in Time Dijon, Burgundy 161

18 The Goal of a Gulpable Wine Villié-Morgon, Beaujolais 167

19 Lyon and a Cook I Never Met Lyon, Lyonnais 183

20 Sea Salt Ars-en-Ré, Aunis 193

21 Snails Champagnolles, Saintonge 198

22 Blackened Cheesecake Saint-Estèphe Angoumois La Mothe-Saint-Héray, Poitou 203

23 If You Aren't Worried, Then Maybe the Cheeses Could Be Better Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, Rouergue 209

24 Guy Gedda and Real Provencal Cooking Bormes-les-Mimosas, Provence 221

25 Ruins Les Baux, Provence 229

26 Wrapped and Aged in Leaves and Completely Different from All Other Cheeses Valensole, Provence 233

27 Richard Olney, an Uncompromising French Cook Solliès-Toucas, Provence 243

28 A Sauce from a Mortar Avignon, Provence 251

29 A Slippery White Cheese and a Surprise Aries Vauvert, Provence 253

30 The Importance of Goose Fat Samatan Gimont Saint-Martin-Gimois, Gascony 259

31 The Last Wine in France: Strong, Dark, and Sweet Banyuls-sur-Mer, Roussillon 271

32 What Is French Food? 283

Index 293

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