Mmmm (2)

Take one girl, ply with good white wine and tartes, and cook in the French sunshine for a week. Result? One happy bunny. (As opposed to the lapin who ended up being cooked with prunes for our Sunday lunch on our last day in France).

Highlights included tasting the fois gras, pate and nems (the Vietnamese version of spring rolls) at the local market, wandering round Leclerc in awe of your standard French supermarket vegetable section (seasonal! local!), and struggling to finish the five course €19 formule at the tiny local restaurant.

They just take their food way more seriously over there than we do over here. Here we're all junked out, worried (with good reason) that our children are becoming obese, obsessed with celebrity diets and Atkins, and spending a fortune on ready meals. Over there, they're proud of their food, and make an effort to shop and cook well - both the raw ingredients and finished products we saw at the local market had an award or medal of some kind, were affordable, and were being bought by local people of all ages and situations. And (being a nosy trolley watcher) in the supermarket, I noticed that not that many people bought ready meals - and there weren't aisles and aisles of them, like at home.

End of rant. But more to follow...especially now that I've read one of the best books of the year about food - Not on the Label, by Felicity Lawrence, an expose of the food production industry in Britain. Go buy. And then never go near a chicken, bagged salad or an industrial loaf of bread ever again.


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