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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2009
I really enjoyed reading this book as it gave me an insight into the area. It was what I had hoped for as a reading companion to my holiday in the Languedoc and more as I visited some of the places mentioned in the book and tried some of the receipes. I did indeed savour the food, history and mystery of the Languedoc. My only dilema now that I'm home is wither to keep it in the kitchen with my cookery books or in the study with my travel books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2009
This delightful book takes you to the heart of this beautiful region of France. If you have already visited the Languedoc, it will bring back many wonderful memories and, if you haven't, it won't be long before you do! The fascinating bites of history and the delicious recipes totally capture the flavour of the area and its' people. I wanted to devour it in one sitting but tried to nibble at it to prolong the pleasure.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2006
For anyone who knows, or who would like to know the region, this is a must. Unlke so many authors of this type of book, Ms Murrills has clearly spent many years getting to know and understand the area, and really has the feel of the untranslatable 'terroir'. She also has the talent to pass this underestanding on to her readers.

A plus - the illustrations are delightful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
read this before going to Languedoc on holiday. It was an inspiring read and had some great recipes. While we were in Languedoc it was mostly hot sun...not much cool shadow in August!Beware the busy roads/traffic jams near the coast if you are going to Languedoc in the summer..
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This book livened an already keen interest in France and in French Regional cooking. So many of the places are off the recognised travel guide routes - yet appear tempting from Angela Murrills' superb (delicious?) descriptions and Peter Matthews' illustrations. This has now become our travel guide "par excellence" - and the hotels, restaurants and sites of the Languedoc are , rightly, profiting from that.

Buy it, read it, and I dare you to say you won't visit!
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on 6 September 2012
The Languedoc is a region in the south of France with a rich gastronomical history. Perhaps this is not surprising, though, when you consider the proximity to Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean, and the wars that were fought there whenever the religion of the day swapped. Hot Sun, Cool Shadow- Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc looks to tie some of these ideas together, considering the food, the food's origins, and how the Languedoc developed. The author and her husband moved to the region after having spent several summers there, and discovering the local towns, markets, and restaurants. Each chapter is based around one or two local dishes, like cassoulet or duck confit, using the food as a springboard to discuss a certain area of the region, or cooking tradition, and one or two recipes are provided at the end of each chapter, should you wish to try to create the experience for yourself. Since the region has contributed a lot to French cuisine, there are plenty of things to talk about.

Hot Sun, Cool Shadow- Savouring the Food, History and Mystery of the Languedoc is a well written book, very easy to read, well researched, and full of interesting facts- did you know Vermouth was invented around there? You really do want to go out to the supermarket to buy the food which is focused on in the chapter you are reading, and a cottage for a couple of weeks in the south of France is something I'll be looking at for my next holiday. The book doesn't talk about wine very much, if at all, which is a little disappointing, as the wine trade has been a key characteristic for the region over the last 40 years, going from producing cheap plonk to becoming an up-and-coming wine region; I think you need discussion of wine for a complete picture of the region. But overall, a fun read, and I learnt a good deal, well recommended.
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on 16 August 2011
I've just read this wonderful book in advance of a forthcoming visit to the Languedoc region. I chose my holiday primarily because of an interest in medieval history and the Albigensian Crusade. The book touches on those historical themes briefly but it's mainly a joyous celebration of the region's rich and varied cuisine, provincial village and family life. I loved the author's lively and descriptive passages devoted to the meticulous preparation of the Languedoc's mouthwatering dishes - confit de canard, cassoulet etc - and her revealing insights into the cycles of agricultural life in general, the wine, cheeses, fish and game conservation. The narrative includes some useful snippets of trivia too. So, for example, I learned that nicotine was named after a French Ambassador to Spain from the region, a M Nicot, who introduced tobacco to France mainly because he liked its medicinal qualities. And the fabric that subsequently became denim in America was a cloth mixed of white and purple thread that originated in Nimes, hence "de-nimes"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a great little book, not only has it some lovely recipes in it but also it tells the tale of the area the recipe comes from and has some great little drawings, very traditionally French. A great buy for anyone interested in the Languedoc area.
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on 12 August 2010
Was almost put off by the somewhat sappy cover and title but was very glad I persisted. Excellent companion to glorious Languedoc-Rousillon, using the loose framework of Angela Murrills and Peter Matthews' search for a place in the sun to explore a number of key locations and the food for which the region is famous. Anecdotal, unstructured but actually much more inspiring than any formal guide to the region which I've read. Visit these places, eat this fantastic food, and a wonderful two or three week holiday would be guaranteed. Then use the simple recipes to recreate the experience when you come home...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2014
Never did establish where and when they actually purchased a house in France; I found the book tended to ramble a bit. Loved the recipes though, will definitely try some!
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