The remarkable fusion between life, the produce of the countryside and the food on the table that is Auvergne continues as it has done for generations. In a dozen chapters devoted the constituents of a Rabelaisian meal - from soups, to egg dishes and pancakes, cheese dishes, fish, pork, game, poultry and other meat dishes, vegetables, desserts and breads, preserves and confectionery; more cheese, and wine - Peter Graham laces recipes together with extended introductions which reflect on the life of the countryside, his travels around it, and his long residence in it. The food of the Auvergne exemplifies that regionality that is so special to the complex whole that makes up French cookery. It is an amalgam of influences exerted by local materials, the landscape, social development and a long history. Peter Graham unpicks these delicately, with a style and knowledge born out of reading, wide sampling and much socialising. In consequence, the reader not only has a marvellous series of recipes that will warm many a winter supper - or harvest-home for that matter - but also will come away considerably the wiser about Auvergnat society history and culture. What is remarkable about this book is both the quality of the dishes described - who could resist the Aligot, a magical combination of mashed potato, cheese and cream, or the detailed instructions for a perfect coq au vin? - but the happy introduction we are given to a score of local kitchens, be they in restaurants or hotels such as Le Vieux Pont at Belcastel or the Beausejour at Calvinet, or on farms that have preserved a way of life fast vanishing through the rest of France.