Sunday evening in Annonay, as its inhabitants are quick to point out, is hardly likely to knock you off your feet with its pace of life. I had spent the afternoon discovering the back streets of the town after glimpsing the letters FAST followed by FOOD running down the side of a café-restaurant. Until then I had seen these dreadful words, which have now seeped into French gastronomy, only in Paris. Was nowhere safe? Here in the heart of provincial France, where plenty of proper fast food such as an omelette, an assiette anglaise or a plate of fruits de mer had been available for generations, the pallid hamburger and the sesame bun had been imported in the name of American chic.