Vive La France Et Le Difference! - Why Can't We Be More Like The French?

Contrary to what the media & lifestyle gurus have been force feeding us for years! fat is now good for us....

Yippee! I hear you shout from the rooftops, but then those us of 'in the know' always knew that anyway, especially the French! but that good news does not mean you can high tail it to the closest fried chicken or burger all good news there is also bad.

I have always admired the French attitude to fats and food in general. Their entire food culture is something to be esteemed and something we here in Ireland should aspire to, not that there is no one out there doing their damnedest to change general attitudes.

The food culture of Ireland has literally exploded over the last two decades and the country is now awash with restaurants, a lot 'meh', some good and a few fabulous!  Artisan producers are all the rage growing their own and making their own with specialist food shops, farmers markets and food festivals popping up all over the place.

As I sit writing I am in the lucky position to be doing so from the south of France where I am on my annual sabbatical. sounds posh but just means I'm on a wee inspired of course!

To say I love coming to France would be an understatement......'J'adore' coming to France, I would even go as far to call it my second home and if I were able I would be here for 2 weeks instead of 9 days...if I were really able I would stay here for a month....and if in the future I am truly able (as in lottery wining style) I would retire here or at least spend the bulk of the year here.

Having had the pleasure and privilege of previously living and working in France I was able to witness first hand the French attitude to fats and oils. I have stood by in semi shock as whole shanks of lamb and halves of duck were stewed for hours in it,whole joints of meat were copiously bathed in it, salads were served drowned in it, and thick slices of day old bread were fried in it to make crisp croutons...the perfect 'raft' for that black gold 'tapenade'...... a purée of black olives and anchovies with even more fat! how could my arteries ever survive this type of assault I thought? but surprisingly they did! and in the healthiest of ways.