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Book Review: The French Side of Toronto

The benefit of book reviews is free books. I love books as much as I love fashion and technology. Books are the most abundant of the things I own, I've stopped counting. I almost never turn away a free book, so I was very pleased when I had the chance to review The French Side of Toronto. I love French food but am lacking the knowledge of what is available in our fair city. It turns out there is a plethora of French food fantasies all over Toronto. The French Side of the Toronto is a reference guide to everything French with a little Quebec, Belgium, Morocco and Switzerland mixed in.

There are 2 sections to the guide. A Culinary Adventure starts with Breads, Pâtisseries and French Sweets. That section was very dangerous; you could feel the sugar, sweet goodness through the words. I was drooling and I knew it wasn't going to stop soon. Next, the Chocolatiers, more places to burn money easily. I'm not a chocoholic but I'll pay for a great bar of dark. Cheese Shops and Crème Fraïche oh my. They listed the usual suspects and a few new ones. Butchers, fishmongers and delis that stock specialty French items are included regardless of quantity carried. Some big grocers also get a mention if they are French food friendly.
Now you know where to buy all the ingredients you need to get to some classes. A Culinary Adventure ends with a description of cooking schools that offer classes to the public.

The second section to the guide is A Cultural Adventure where you will learn about everything that isn't food related. Print, video/film and music are some of the major bases covered. You can also learn about associations to join and meet with other Francophone and Francophiles.

The book is a great reference not only for the listing of merchants but for the education items presented. While reading, the author(s) would sprinkle little tidbits about what was being talked. This book is a quick way to get cultured and impress your friends. You will know all the ins and outs of the French side of the city. The writing is very good and not boring as most reference books go. I felt I got a good idea of the restaurants from their descriptions.

The guide is available all over the city and retails for $19.95. For this price you get a two for one deal as the French and English versions are in one book. Now off to find the next place to satisfy my foie gras cravings.


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