Languedoc-Roussillion (not forgetting the Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine) are the regions of France most settled by English expatriate colonists. Caroline Conran has spent much time there since the early 1970s and her collection of recipes reflect years of travel, conversation, cooking, eating and drinking. She has shared her knowledge with English readers in a previous book, Under the Sun: Caroline Conran's French Country Cooking, but here she concentrates upon this single region of Languedoc which curls up from the Spanish border along the Mediterranean coast as far as the Rhone valley. This is not polite France, this is 'in your face' France; it's history buried amidst the Crusades and Cathars, its towns and cities - Nimes, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Perpignan, Montpellier, Beziers - making up a fiecely independent region. Its people are passionate about rugby, about hunting and foraging, with a cuisine of their own, more Southern, simpler, more earthy, and less influence by the Michelin style of cooking than the rest of France. There will be information on the particular specialities such as chestnuts, sweet onions, Bouzigues mussels and oysters, salt cod, poufres (baby octopus), charcuterie, salades sauvages (salads of wild plants), the rose-coloured garlic of Lautrec, wild asparagus and local mushrooms. There are descriptions of places where oysters, truffles chestnuts or calcots - a giant spring onion, eaten roasted on a fire of vine-prunings - are the obsession of everyone in the community.