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4.6 out of 5 stars
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While the format of this book could have been better, I would have liked glossier pages and some full-color photos of the actual food being prepared, the contents as well as Ms. Wells enthusiasm for her subject spills out from its pages like a breeze heavy with summer scents of fresh-mown grass and bright flowers.

Wells covers all things Provencal: bread, cheese, wine, olives, olive oil, truffles, tapenades -- you name it! Think about southern France until your mouth waters with culinary expectation and then turn to any page in this book for a perfectly lovely explanation or recipe of the gastronomical treats that await you. Wells covers a variety of topics that more than amply seduce the reader to discover each and every one of them individually and in the only way possible -- by visiting France and enjoying its simple pleasures first-hand or by enrolling in one of Ms. Wells' cooking adventures as advertised on her informative website.

The 300+ page book presents a smorgasbord of earthy Mediterrean food that ranges from appetizers, salads, and soups to fish, poultry, rabbit and meat with sides of pasta, rice, grains, vegetables, potatoes, eggs, cheese, bread and finishes with dessert. Each recipe is prefaced or enhanced by a one of Wells' personal stories, a recount of a Provencal tradition, the history of a merchant or restauranteur or the background of a particular wine or herb. A wine suggestion follows complete with information about the wine and its availability.

For sure, the ideas in this book are meant to be executed with only the finest ingredients and complimented with an array of local wines. Unfortunately, for an American audience with limited access to such luxuries as butcher shop meat/poultry selections, market fresh vegetables and fruit, truffles or Moulin-Cornille huile d'olive, the results may not be the burst of simple flavor that stresses the taste of the food itself that Wells intends. Inferior produce, lackluster condiments and grocery store meat cuts may need that extra zing of a complicated preparation to be more fully satisfying.

However, if you find yourself planning a trip to the Midi and new food experiences rate high on your to-do list, utilize the restaurant and merchant names, addresses and telephone numbers and marketplace schedules to formulate a gastronomically elite itinerary that will surely live forever in your taste bud's memory. Wells' infectious attitude and obvious love of what she does can only serve to make you more aware of what is truely good in life.
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on July 3, 2015
Tried a few recipes and they've turned out great. The Rosemary & Lemon Pasta is divine. I like how the author lists what wine to drink with the recipes and also the various restaurants where some of the recipes come from.
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on July 13, 2011
What a delightful, as well as delicious, "more-than-a-cookbook" book! Her stories and photos of local people, and information on truffles, wines, olives, etc. is fascinating and informative! I've learned so much about Provence! I love the information about each place and market. Had to get my Atlas out, and borrow a map of Provence, to follow on this marvelous tour. I bought my first book as a gift, but had to get a second one for me!
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on July 21, 2013
This book says it all........that Provence is a marvelous assault on the senses.........and Ms Wells captures that in her sophisticated yet simple recipes like no other cookbook writer on things French...triumphant in Paris..equally so in the French countryside
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on September 23, 2005
just returned from cooking school in Provence and Patricia Wells' book was a perfect complement to my new skills. beautifully written, creative and fairly easy recipes. highly recommended.
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on March 7, 2014
I picked this book up after a long haitus just on a whim while planning my trip, and I've found so many great tips about finding small producers, wines, markets in Provence, I'm absolutely delighted. I hope they're not overrun by folks who have read her book! :-) I'll be copying out that list of markets and cheeses to take along, for sure!
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on March 9, 2005
I don't have anything to add to the other reviews. Just wanted to post a 5 and show my support.
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on January 30, 2010
Patricia Wells writes a great cookbook and this is no exception. The recipes are easy to follow and all that I've tried have been delicious. Great for the ameteur as well as the professional.
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on March 10, 2005
I was in provence last summer, I loved it. The food there is so fresh and tasteful. So I bought this book. I love it, the recipe are incredible and authentic love the flavor. The cauliflower gratin is amazing, if you don't like cauliflower try this recipe and you will become a cauliflower lover.

I also bought another cookbook, which is very interesting because it has recipes from many countries. It's Simple and Simply Delicious by sylvie rocher.

I love cookbook and always look for good find like those ones
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on May 15, 2013
Wonderful recipes with anecdotes and suggestions on wines and serving. Reads like a book from beginning to end. A must read for anyone who wants to serve more rustic French food.
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