by Yvon Busson & Rene Gast

Rizzoli, $17.95, 280 pages

Paris, in all its grandeur, takes a backseat in Food and Wine’s One Hundred & One Beautiful Towns in France.This lovely coffee table book has more to offer than gorgeous photographs (which are of course included). It offers up a treasure trove of France’s bountiful resources and expounds on their famous attention to detail when it comes to crafting them into culinary delights. French cuisine, steeped in tradition, is examined region by region.

Every page of this exquisite book features a town, the artisan product the town is known for, and insights on the characteristic qualities of the land that make the food unique to that locale. As quoted from the Preface of the book: “Knowing how to cook is a way of safeguarding the traditions of a particular region and preserving the philosophy of the place.”

This book would make a great gift for any food enthusiast with a penchant for French culture. Also found in the book are a generous twenty six pages of addresses for hotels, restaurants, and shops; making it a valuable resource for the upcoming traveler.

Reviewed by Alicea Swett