Gastronomy is a wonderful starting point to study France and the French. As the retired school master from Provence says ‘The religion of France is food. And wine, of course.’ And they put their money where their mouth is, spending a greater proportion of their income on food and drink than any other nation in the world. Literally hundreds of gastronomic fairs and festivals take place throughout the year all over France – a frog fair, an homage to the sausage, to the turnip, to the quiche and the noble Camembert. What kind of person is a snail-fancier? Is there a brotherhood of sausage connoisseurs? How can you devote an entire weekend to the French fry? Peter Mayle finds out and brings hilariously and affectionately to life the people who can get passionate about a frog’s leg or a well-turned omelette. Over ten years ago he transformed our feelings about Provence, now he captures the irresistible essence of France herself – and her food.