The Best Walnuts Matter - in France and in Handmade Soap
November is walnut season in France, but you’ll see them everywhere, all year round; if not in the trees then in the stores and at markets. France is a leading walnut producer in Europe. In one year, the South West alone produces about 20,000 tonnes of walnuts.
The Perigord region is notable for walnut production. The “Route de la Noix de Perigord” connects tourists in the Perigord to growers, restaurants, oil specialists, and distilleries. If you’re in the Perigord, you’ll see their road signs everywhere. It stands to reason that people want to try the walnuts that have helped put the region on the map.
Most of the Perigord’s production takes place in Dordogne, Lot, Correze, and Charente. The walnuts have protected designation of origin (PDO) status and are also AOC-labelled, which is an award that indicates top quality practices and products. Not only are the walnuts grown to be of the top quality, but farmers must harvest them with care and then shell them, a meticulous process to provide only the best of the best.
Cuisine in the South West of France often involves walnuts (salads, breads, cakes, walnut wine aperitif, cooking oils, and more), but the benefits of walnuts are not limited to their flavour.
Antioxidants – walnuts are a good source of antioxidants, which balance and limit the damage of free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to aging and may play a part in some diseases.
Omega 3 – walnuts contain more Omega 3 than any common nut, which is good news, because Omega 3 is said to be good for blood pressure and to help regulate cholesterol.
Alpha-linolenic acid – Walnuts contain this acid, which is thought to be good for strong, healthy bones. It may decrease inflammation, which can help keep bones stronger for longer.
Melatonin – Walnuts are a source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep patterns.
Inflammation, again – Walnuts have been used by people with arthritis and eczema. Fatty acids are thought to help nourish nails, hair, and skin, among many other potential benefits.
Vitamins – The B vitamins in walnuts are considered great for skin. Vitamin B can help lower stress. And vitamin E is a natural antioxidant.
Black walnut is often used in traditional, herbal remedies. People use the outer parts of the hull, the inner bark, leaves, and the nuts themselves.
Lukewarm, walnut oil can be used as a moisturizer. You’ll feel it nourishing your skin, helping you achieve a glowing, youthful look. A little walnut oil might be used to soothe puffiness near the eyes. I use walnut oil to create a soap that is ideal if you have damaged skin.
And if you don’t have damaged skin, you can still enjoy walnut soap. Don’t wait until you’re suffering the get the benefits of great quality, handmade soap that looks after your skin!