When I was reading Peter Mayle’s books about France before I left, I remembered his comments about olives. So I decided to explore and was told about an olive refinery that also had a gift store. The rain stopped today, however, it was still pretty blustery out for walking. So, I decided to check it out.
It is well known that olive oil is used in French cooking as it is in Italian cooking. However, there are many other products that come from olives.
Here is what I found besides olive oil – along with the lovely drive through the French countryside dotted with medieval towns, castles and old stone fortresses. Truly a unique landscape.
- Olive soap is reputed to be wonderful for your skin. Not only for skin, but for hair and also general cleaning. Thought I’d try both the soap and bath gel/shampoo.
- Tapenade – found one that tasted just right for me – made with black olives. Only problem is I can’t find anywhere in the stores the kind of biscuits we use in Canada for tapenades. Guess I’ll use bread instead. It’s plentiful, as are croissants and chocolate croissants. I’ve avoided the other tempting pastries so far.
- This isn’t made from olives, but found a round of goat cheese (chevre). Love goat cheese. It’s popular here.
I’m really trying to adapt to what they eat in France, not try to find all the items I eat back home. However, being a vegan, this is difficult. Their main menu here is meat, bread and cheese. Not my usual food choices. They have lots of lentils which I’m using, especially the dark green French lentil. Thought they grew barley here but can’t find any barley. I’ll need to be inventive and hopefully, my friend, Monique, also a vegan, will help in the search to eat vegan in a French culture. Hummm!!!!