Would you love to escape on a romantic journey? Your ticket is between the covers of the stunning Flavour with Benefits: France.
Discover the world’s most popular travel destination:
* Experience breathtaking France with over 100 original photographs.
* Sail by limestone cliffs on a warm Mediterranean current.
* Descend a glowing staircase to a wine cave filled with millions of bottles of champagne.
Learn about women who changed the world:
* The Grande Dame of Champagne who couldn’t vote yet built an empire.
* La mère (the mother) Brazier whose restaurants set new culinary standards.
Food that doesn’t compromise flavour or health:
* Enjoy 50+ inspired recipes accompanied by stunning photographs.
* Learn about food as medicine and a five-year-old girl.
* Crave a dessert that reimagines: I’ll have what she’s having!
Flavour with Benefits: France will inspire you to plan the trip of your dreams and indulge in flavours that deliver a pleasant surprise.
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
We wanted to give people a chance to travel vicariously and learn about new takes on iconic food favourites.
Welcome to a road trip through France featuring vignettes, or short stories about the stops along the way. Each chapter seeks to capture the beauty of the chosen places, share accounts of memorable people and introduce some inspired foods.
Would you like to go to France? If so, you're not alone. France is the world’s number one travel destination – ahead of Spain, the USA, China and Italy. And if you're wondering where to go in France, any direction will delight.
The route we travel is a personal one: a mix of childhood memories, stories of women and places and flavours we love. Accompany us on a scenic road trip through parts of France you may never have seen or thought of before. In the Champagne region, learn about the women who built the champagne industry, then on to Metz, where magnificent architecture becomes the backdrop for food as medicine. Travelling southeast, we find the Vosges and Haut-Rhin villages where my grandfather fought – and nearly starved – during World War I.
Drive with us through the back roads and rolling hills of Burgundy, then visit France's culinary capital, the city of Lyon, where enterprising women took cuisine to the next level.
The next leg of our journey is magical Provence, the region where famous artists found inspiration – and where the quality of light will mesmerize you. Finally, we arrive at France's second-largest city, Marseille, with its own distinctive landscape and traditions. For details on the complete trip with all locations, see the next section, Planning the Journey.
Before taking this trip, we read everything we could to understand more about the memorable women who altered history each in their own way. Women such as Barbe-Nicole Clicquot of Veuve Clicquot Champagne House, my grandmother Stella who helped others survive the Great Depression, Eugénie Brazier of Lyon culinary fame and Julia Child who documented details of French cooking for an American audience. We found it inspiring to learn more about how they dealt with the struggles of their day and how they survived and thrived.
This is not a book on traditional French cooking and certainly not a standard cookbook. It combines some new takes on traditional favourites for health reasons, many of which are plant-based. In each chapter, there is some inspiration from the region, but the variety and freshness of the produce at French markets gave us license to take what was available and develop some non-traditional options.
Flavours are linked indelibly to some of our best memories. Culture and tradition heavily influence our food preferences, some of which are set even before we are born.
Flavour is a combination of taste, aroma and texture, but we also "eat with our eyes". All our senses are involved in the enjoyment of food and flavour. It can be fundamental to happiness and satisfaction. If someone suggests that our favourite flavours and foods may be changing, fear can strike. It is fundamental and emotional.
Understanding this, we decided to take a fresh look at some of our favourite flavours. We could not think of a more iconic place to have this conversation than France. It’s the home of many famous dishes that are enjoyed around the world, even by those who have never visited the country.
We approach this topic of flavours and benefits in this way: when you invest your money, you expect to get a positive return. The same should go for your health. What you eat should be carefully considered to achieve positive health returns. This became important to us as we looked at our own food choices and the impacts they were having on our health. We thought we were eating a good diet, but the numbers at the doctor’s office did not support this conclusion.
It's even more alarming when you investigate what the average diet in North America is and then look at the top seven causes of death. These include heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. These are diet related. They are preventable and there is good news: we can take action without pills. Hmm. Food as medicine. Even something as simple as changing what you eat for breakfast has a positive impact; see Small Changes, Big Benefits: A Nutrition Interlude (page 66).
We were guided by scientific research in our selection of recipe ingredients and even cooking methods. This is discussed in The Science Behind Flavour with Benefits (page 222) which is dedicated to the discussion of food and its relationship to health.
There is a Recipe Index & Profiles chapter (page 200), which includes an overview of over 50 recipes, highlighting time and difficulty and designating whether the recipe is vegetarian, vegan, zero cholesterol, oil-free, a high fibre source, gluten-free, tree-nut free or enhances sexual vitality.
Where we have replaced traditional ingredients with healthier alternatives, there are the Alternative Ingredients Recipes (page 204). These include flax "eggs" (page 210) which stand in for eggs, as well as sauces such as "Cheese" Sauce (page 206) or "Worcestershire" Sauce (page 214). Many of these alternative ingredients are referenced in the recipes. In Stocking your Pantry (page 218), staples for your kitchen are listed, including ingredients that may be unfamiliar to some, such as monk fruit, which is frequently used in place of sugar. There is more discussion of monk fruit in The Science Behind Flavour with Benefits (page 228).
Please check with your doctor and other medical professionals to ensure that any dietary changes you want to make are right for you and do not impact any medications or other treatments.
Flavour with Benefits: France was completed during uncertain times. So a pleasant distraction is in order for all of us. The book is written to feel like you are chatting with a good friend at a café table, maybe even in France. We hope that you’ll be inspired and make plans to visit those places that are new to you or revisit those that revive your favourite memories.
We co-wrote this book, but ultimately, we chose to make it the voice of Cathy as this book is about her journey and family history.
We took all the photographs except for those drawn from books, archives (where noted and credited) or old family photos. The food photographs were taken during our trip to France or in our kitchen at home.
Along the way, you may see some recipes that you would like to try.
Through these shifting times, we trust that you, and those you love, can find the strength and compassion in your lives to be happy and thrive.
Cathy Connally and Charley Best
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All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.