A browse through the local travel bookshop in midwinter is always enjoyable, especially when you find something new. Hence Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure caught the eye as unlike most books about dieting, it concentrates more on the pleasure of eating well A la Francaise. Personally I like the French approach of more but smaller courses rather than the British plate piled high with meat and 2 veg! One of the key messages here is all about portion size. This is another angle on the “French Paradox ” whereby despite a rich diet, the French tend to have lower levels of obesity and heart disease!
“It is classy, chic, convincing, funny, wise, well-written and very timely. It’s the ultimate non-diet book, which nonetheless shows us how to eat with balance, control and above all pleasure. Chuck out all the radical diet books, think about what you eat and why, and then enjoy eating the right things (and some of the wrong ones) intelligently, and in smaller portions.”
Another choice was Marie-Pierre Moine’s Provence Cookery School a sumptuous celebration of rich Provencal fayre, lovingly illustrated
Recreate the gorgeous flavours of Provencal cuisine in your own kitchen. Forget expensive and difficult courses run by intimidating chefs. This one-on-one guide gives step-by-step advice on how to learn the key elements of Provencal cooking in only one week. Each day, you’ll discover how to combine local ingredients and techniques to create authentic, delicious dishes, with three-course menu plans for making magnificent meals. Cook and enjoy over 100 wonderful dishes, using local ingredients from the best producers, from superb sauces to perfect pastries. Guy Gedda is your friendly and charming host: his clear demonstrations show you exactly what to do without the need for professional expertise and skill, but with results that will prove you have mastered the essentials of Provencal cooking in your own kitchen. Bon Appetit!
Finally a rather fun food book to enable you to recapture the essence of French cuisine back at home – William Black’s Plats Du Jour. According to Metro’s review: (April 25, 2007):
“The French wouldn’t dream of agonising over whether to buy local: after all, their culture is built on it, n’est ce pas? In his culinary travelogue Plats du Jour, William Black celebrates their peerless heritage, but also detects that everything isn’t quite so rosy in the country’s kitchen as they would like to think. “