Thursday, March 21, 2019

Gout de France 2019 and review of The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil

French Village Diaries #GoutdeFrance2019 The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil
©Goût de France/Good France 2019

Goût de France 2019

Today, 21st March, is #GoutdeFrance #GoodFrance or taste of France day; an annual event where chefs of the world are encouraged to celebrate French food, with the emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local produce. I love French food and I am loving the play on words here too! Goût de, translated, means taste of, but rather than #TasteofFrance day we have Good France day – get a Frenchman to say, “goût de France” and “good France” and they will sound the same.

French Village Diaries #GoutdeFrance2019 The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil
The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil
by Alice Alech and Cécile le Galliard


This year the spotlight is on the food of Provence and I’m sure you’ll agree, nothing says Provence produce quite like Olive Oil, so it’s a perfect day to review The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil by Alice Alech and Cécile le Galliard. Alice, who lives in Provence, has already published An Olive Oil Tour of France and in this new book she has teamed up with Cécile, a French expert in olive oil tasting.

The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil by Alice Alech and Cécile le Galliard

The main focus of this book is explaining the 7 wonders of olive oil; seven powerful claims about the health benefits to our bodies when we regularly use extra-virgin olive oil, from our brain cells (Alzheimer’s) to our bones (osteoporosis), our hearts (strokes and heart attacks) to our skin (largest organ in our bodies) and more (the big C). It is a lot to take in and backed up by a lot of studies, reports and findings, but it doesn’t feel that it’s written for scientists or food experts, so never swamped me or lost me. Alongside the research there are personal case studies, tips and recipes and it certainly helped my understanding of the different types of fats we eat; good ones and bad ones, as well as explaining the different types of olive oils on the market and what the labels really mean. As you would expect this book promotes the Mediterranean diet and use of olive oil in our kitchens, but that isn’t all, there are beauty tricks too, using olive oil rather than chemical-containing over-the-counter cosmetic products.

At the end of the book there is also a 25-question quiz, with comprehensive answers; whether this is there to ensure we were paying attention as we read it, or to provide a quick and easy reference point, I don’t know, but either way I thought it was a great idea.

This would be an excellent book for those of you like me who prefer the idea of prevention rather than cure and who do your best to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to help prevent illness. One message that came over for me was the sad fact that we have forgotten the importance of the quality of our food, have lost interest in where our food comes from and what processes were involved in getting it to our plates. What we eat really does have an impact on our long-term health and it has made me think about the oil I buy, and I know I will be adding a tablespoon or two of good extra virgin olive oil into my daily diet.

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Bon apetit and I hope you get the chance to enjoy some delicious French food today.

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