I was surprised to see olive oil and France in the same sentence—certainly from a production point of view. As Alice herself says, most people associate olive oil production and export with Italy, Spain, or Greece.
However, there are in fact a few producers in the south of France. Their yield barely touches the French demand for olive oil, but nevertheless, they are proud of the quality of their product. Alice, in this short, concise guide, takes the reader from the tree to the golden nectar in the bottle. Along with facts and figures are: advice on how olive oil can be used as a beauty product (did you know it makes a great hair conditioner?), information on its virtues as a part of a healthy diet, and there are a few traditional recipes to complete the ‘tour’, which are accompanied by mouth-watering illustrations.
I use olive oil all the time, but I’m not a connoisseur and am perfectly happy with my supermarket’s own brand cheapy cheapy. So, the book wasn’t of particular value to me—especially as I’m never likely to sample any French olive oil, since it’s not widely exported, even to the UK; but it was interesting to learn of its existence, its methods of production, and about the endeavour to promote it and to encourage and educate the younger French consumers. An expert, someone who really likes to know what they are buying and likes to find out about a product they are passionate about, will find this a useful and informative little booklet.