: France: The Cake-Frosting Country :

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an excerpt by Joan Frank

Everything they say is true.

The cake-frosting countryside. The train streaming through fields of green or gold, past white cows, rows of vegetables, sunflowers, lavender, orchards, vineyards. Umber-roofed towns and villages huddled at mid-distance, like illustrations for books of fairy tales. Farmhouses from earlier centuries; the occasional castle, or its ruins, crowning occasional hills. Rivers wending bluegreen, peaceful, like backdrops of Renaissance paintings. At the north, Brittany, cold and briny, stoic. At the south, the Côte D'Azur, a flat, warm bath of heart-piercing blue. And in the upper middle of the hexagon (as it nicknames itself), like the beating heart of the world, the city of Paris.

Nowhere in this dream, unless you are a corrosively tempered critic, can you find a bite of bad food.