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The Perfect Meal is part grand tour of France, part history of French cuisine, taking readers on a journey to discover and savor some of the world’s great cultural achievements before they disappear completely.
Some of the most revered and complex elements of French cuisine are in danger of disappearing as old ways of agriculture, butchering, and cooking fade and are forgotten. In this charming culinary travel memoir, John Baxter follows up his bestselling The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by taking his readers on the hunt for some of the most delicious and bizarre endangered foods of France.
The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France is the perfect read for foodies and Francophiles, cooks and gastronomists, and fans of food culture.
Part Grand Tour of France, part history of French cuisine: an irresistible journey, from Paris to Provence, to find “the perfect meal”
An expat Paris resident for more than twenty years, John Baxter began noticing an alarming trend: just as species of plants and animals are rapidly facing extinction globally, so too are the traditional ingredients and techniques of classic French cooking and eating. Indeed, he worried that the soul of the world’s most revered national cuisine is in danger of disappearing, as centuries-old ways of cooking, preparation, and farming wither away. Spurred to action, Baxter set off across the country on an unforgettable quest to taste the last great French dishes before they disappear forever—from Paris’s surviving haute cuisine establishments to the tiny local restaurants that still serve the remarkable regional dishes of Provence, Normandy, Cote d’Azur, and more.
“Baxter’s command of French history and culture offers the reader a cornucopia of anecdote and detail worth savoring.”