Monday 11 November 2013

An Olive Oil Tour of France by Alice Alech

In An Olive Oil Tour of France, the author takes curious olive oil novices and olive oil lovers behind the scenes of olive oil production giving an insight into:
Growing, picking and olive oil production.
Meeting the people involved in blending both traditional and modern methods.
Studying how the industry has evolved over the years.
The three main types of extra virgin olive oil and how to recognize them.
Olive oil facts and figures.
Health and beauty tips of the green nectar.
Traditional olive oil recipes.
An Olive Oil Tour of France is an appreciation of Provence and Corsica’s contribution to the world of olive oil.

I grew up in the 70s when the benefits of a Mediterranean diet where unheard of, when chips were cooked in lard and the nearest we got to olive oil was when it was warmed up and dropped into our ears to ease ear ache!

Despite all of that, I survived and am now a huge fan of using olive oil in the kitchen.  This is mainly due to my love of Greece, and all things Greek - especially food.   We spend two weeks every year on Corfu which is covered in olive groves and produces some delicious olive oil.  I usually come home with a couple of bottles in my case.  Whilst I've been visiting Greece, I've learned a lot about the history of the olive tree on Corfu, the collection of the olives and the final production, and I do like to buy oil from the very small, local suppliers.

When I heard about Alice Alech's book An Olive Oil Tour of France, I was really interested.  France is not a place that I would normally associate with olive oil, and indeed, in terms of quantities produced, it is way down the league.  What is clear though, from reading this excellent book, is that the olive oil producers in France are passionate about their craft.

This really is a fascinating read.  Not only does the reader learn about the current olive oil trade in France, but there are historical facts too.   It was really interesting to read about the different types of extra virgin olive oil in France, and how the consumer can recognise them from the labelling of the bottles.

It was great to read about actual producers, and the day-to-day workings of the modern (and not so modern) olive groves.   The author has also added in some health and beauty tips and some delicious sounding recipes, all featuring olive oil.

A short book at just under 70 pages, but jam packed full of facts and interesting snippets.

My thanks go to the author, Alice Alech who sent my copy for review.   For more information about the author, visit her website and follow her on Twitter

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