Every town in France has at least one charcutier, whose windows are dressed with astonishing displays of good food; pates, terrines, galantines, jambon, saucissions sec and boudins.
The charcutier will also sell olives, anchovies, condiments as well as various salads of his own creation, making a visit the perfect stop to assemble picnics and impromptu meals.
But the real skill of the charcutier lies in his transformation of the pig into an array of delicacies; a trade which goes back at least as far as classical Rome, when Gaul was famed for its hams.
First published in 1969 but unavailable for many years, Jane Grigson's "Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery" is a guidebook and a recipe book.
She describes every type of charcuterie available for purchase and how to make them yourself.
She describes how to braise, roast, pot-roast and stew all the cuts of pork, how to make terrines, how to cure your own ham and make your own sausages.