Today we celebrate the two things France loves the most: Women and butter!
Julia Child, the American chef, author and television personality well-known for introducing French cuisine to America in the 1960s, famously said, “With enough butter, anything is good.”
In which other country besides our beloved France are there so many different kinds of this edible gold, consumed by itself in its natural form as often as with every other meal in the day? There is beurre blanc (white butter), beurre fondue (water and butter for poaching), beurre composé (compound butter), beurre Maître d’Hôtel (a type of compound butter), beurre manié (kneaded butter), beurre monté (a butter sauce), beurre noir (black butter), beurre noisette (hazelnut butter; sometimes loosely translated as brown butter), beurre rouge (red butter), tartes au beurre (butter tarts)… Not to mention the famous Hollandaise sauce which is comprised of butter, salt, lemon juice and egg yolk. So delicious! To paraphrase a line from the movie No Reservations (2007): “What are the three secrets of French cuisine? Butter, butter and butter.”
But, is the buttered-up French lifestyle, especially their food culture so rich in animal fats, really the secret to happier eating and a healthier way of life? In an article on The Guardian website, “The French secret of fat”, French journalist Agnès Poirier investigates the role of butter and other animal fats in the French diet. Although she found that, generally, the French eat more saturated fats than the English and Americans, overall they are healthier. Why is this so? She speculates that this is what is known as “the French paradox”, and that French-American food guru Mireille Guiliano (the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat) is right in saying that the paradox lies in smaller portions that are high in fats, the friendship and sharing of food, and the pleasure of each meal experienced in this manner. It seems the more obsessed you are with choosing the best, simple ingredients and eating good food surrounded by those you love, and the less obsessed you are with how many calories are in the food you eat, the better you feel and the slimmer you are. Essayez donc! So try it!
At CASSIS Pâtisserie et Boulangerie, we see French dining as a big welcome gesture. Every top-quality, fresh ingredient chosen with utmost consideration, every recipe tried and tested, and every meal served with a smile that says, “Bon appétit!” What you eat reflects your personality and how you feel about your guests – to quote the classical French lawyer-turned-gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” The French culture of eating is a holistic approach to modern living – in other words, good food = good life!
A quote from the movie Julie & Julia (2009): “Let me say this: is there anything better than butter? Think it over; every time you taste something that’s delicious beyond imagining and you say, ‘What is in this?’, the answer is always going to be: butter.” Julie then ends off with: “Here’s my final word on the subject: You can never have too much butter.”
Enjoy your Women’s Day!
“Entertaining is an act of friendship and cooking is an act of love.”
― Mireille Guiliano in Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility