Her name is Lawrence Duval and she's in charge of promoting "Water and Wellness" for the Rhone-Alpes region of France. At Rendez-Vous France, the big travel trade show here in Strasbourg, this means water tastings. "Water is the skeleton of health," she says.
Always up for something new, we try six of the finest. From Aix-les-Bains, a drop that has a silkiness and balance. "This should be your apéritif," suggests Lawrence. Next comes Evian, almost astringent by comparison. Then the water from Thonon, one village further along the southern coast of Lake Geneva; it's sweet. "This should be your dessert."
We move on to the sparkling. Badoit, in a bright red package, twice as fizzy as the stuff in the familiar green bottle, more like an unflavored Coke. Then César, with a light sparkle and a green, minty flavor. The most interesting so far. "It goes with salad," Lawrence advises. Finally Parot, distinctly salty. She hands over a piece of Madagascar chocolate, redolent of oranges. Now the Parot's saltiness cleanses the palate. And that's far from a complete tasting; the Rhone-Alpes region alone produces 32 mineral waters, all of them good for you.
In fact, France is on something of a health kick these days. "Eat right and exercise" is the watchword of an extensive new ad campaign. That means lots of vegetables, whole grains, lower fat cheeses and lean meats. Drink lots of water, and get half an hour a day of exercise daily.
Good advice. I'll start with a brisk walk to the bakery.Posted by Ronald Holden at March 28, 2007 12:11 AM