“The European Cook Book is absolutely a key part of our mission to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe”, explains Professor Roberto Ferrari, President of the ESC. “Prevention of heart disease through education programmes about what to eat is a key part of our strategy. But while most people know the benefits of a good diet, it can still be very hard to persuade them to adopt new habits. Many mistakenly believe that healthy eating has to mean a bland and repetitive diet that could never excite their taste buds. After trying many of the recipes in this book myself, however, I can say that this is definitely not the case!”
This is a cookery book with a difference. The conventional part comprises 200-plus pages laid out as 43 menus of national recipes representing the unique cultural and culinary heritage of member and affiliate countries. The rich diversity of the ESC covering mainland Europe, the Mediterranean basin and beyond has strongly influenced the recipes – all of which have been submitted by heart specialists from each country. A professional chef and nutritionist has tested and adapted the recipes to create dishes that are heart-friendly yet very enjoyable.
But this cookery book also contains a really vital message to all Europeans about how the right diet choices can positively help avoid cardiovascular disease. The introductory pages give an easy-to-understand overview of the heart itself and explain its role as the engine of life. There are sections that discuss the major heart disease topics along with symptoms and treatments, and an excellent reference table for all cooks to use that indicates healthier alternatives to everyday ingredients such as oils, fats and seasoning.
Professor Ferrari is hopeful that the ESC’s European Cook Book will become a great success. “We set out to offer new thinking for the preparation of meals, not just in the context of blindly following these specific recipes but in becoming familiar with alternative, healthy ingredients and cooking methods that become part of a routine. It’s also very exciting to imagine people experimenting with completely new dishes from different cultures, and knowing that they are reducing their exposure to heart health risks while still enjoying the social benefits of a shared and tasty meal.”
The European Cook Book will be formally launched on the first day of ESC Congress 2010 to be held in Stockholm between 28 August and 1 September. Information about the book and ways to order can be found at the ESC website. The online price will be EUR 23, but it will be available for the special price of EUR 20 at the Congress, with each sale resulting in a donation to the European Heart for Children charity.