The early part of Peter Mayle's life was spent in the gastronomic wilderness of post-war England. But a business trip to Paris at the
tender age of nineteen began an enduring fascination with the French and their love affair with food and wine. In Bon Appétit!, he brings to life all the charm and taste of France's culinary calendar: its fairs, its
festivals and traditions.
He visits Livarot, where his nose encounters its fat from modest fromage, and revels in the spectacle of the annual competitive cheese-eating contest; he attends a church service in Richerenches, which has little to do with religion and everything to do with truffles; in Martigny-les-Bains he learns the best way to eat mails; and becomes the first English confrère of Vittel, haven of the frog-fancier.
What Peter Mayle discovers is the high level of enthusiasm for any event, however bizarre, that seeks to turn eating and drinking into a
celebration. And while the French, take their passions seriously, the French who come to these events dodt take themselves seriously at all.
Warm, witty and mouthwatering in equal measure, Bon Appétit! is proof that the old saying "Lovely country, France. Pity about the French," is only half correct.