Indisputably, one of modern France's greatest treasures is its rich cuisine. The French have an ongoing love affair with food, and their reverence for time spent eating is evident in any culinary establishment nationwide.

You will find all your taste buds satisfied with the choice ranging from old traditional heavy and fattening to  the new French cuisine that is healthy, varied and entertaining. There is also a fantastic selection of ethnic foods thanks to immigrants from Indochina, the Middle-east, Caribbean and South Pacific.

The gastronomy of France is known for its quality and inventiveness. Each region, town and village holds dear its culinary traditions - from Brittany comes the versatile crepe, foie gras is from the southwest; Bouillabaisse from Marseille; Ratatouille from Provence, Beef Bourguignon comes from Burgundy.

France boasts over 500 different cheeses. Every region has its own specialty cheese - Camembert  is from Normandy, Roquefort from the Larzac region in Aveyron; Brie from Meaux; Gruyere from Franche Comte; Epoisse from Burgundy,  St. Paulin from the Loire, Emmental from Savoie, etc.

Visiting local open-air food markets for regional cheese, pastries and wine is a fun way to make lunch or head over to the nearby park for a picnic.

Several restaurants and wine bars put the emphasis on cheese.

The most popular French bread is la baguette (little stick) and the shape makes it  very easy to carry under your arm! It is a loaf 5 or 6 cm. wide and up to a meter in length. They are freshly baked and bought daily from a boulangerie (bakery) and patisserie (cake shop).

French wines are the finest in the world, and France produces more than 20% of the world’s wine.

Combine cheese, bread and wine and you have a meal.

Bon Apetit!

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What a great little book this is. If you want to learn something really interesting about one of the food capitals of the world, there's no better way than to visit its historic restaurants. "The Historic Restaurants of Paris" provides a district by district inventory of the city's eateries that have figured, one way or the other, in its social, political and cultural history. Each listing includes establishments that are open on Sunday, those that sell items suitable for gifts, those with garden dining, and the author’s personal favorites.

Charming anecdotes relating to each shop and restaurant’s history and celebrated former patrons are an extra bonus.

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