Cover illustration by Ruth Marten.
Like the other two Mayle books I’ve read recently, this is a collection of essays on a theme. The theme here is food and drink, and the connecting thread is the author’s treks around France to various festivals, activities and events celebrating some of the more unusual items on the French menu. Accompanied by French gourmet friends, and occasionally his wife, Mayle investigates frogs and their edible legs, chickens with blue feet, very smelly cheese, snails, French Riviera bistros, a marathon through wine vineyards, an intoxicating wine auction in Burgundy, a gourmet health spa and more. All the adventures are told in Mayle’s very entertaining and witty style with plenty of humor directed at himself as well as those he meets. I have now decided that Mayle’s writing will please and delight me no matter what topic he tackles, as in a few here that normally I would not want to read about! I will look for more Mayle books at future book sales.