Kitchen Talk - The French Lunch Blog — condiments
Top 5 Sweet Condiments
Got a sweet tooth? So do we. Join us as we explore our favourite sweet condiments — AKA the stuff we like to drizzle & dress our crêpes, pancakes, waffles, granola, breads, and sometimes, even our entrées with!
Hope we were able to provide you with a few examples of what types of foods go best with jams, honeys, and syrups! Breakfast and brunch are ideal for sweet condiments, but honey can be used to glaze meats and some vegetables for extra taste. Mmmm... 🤤
Onto the list!
1. Martelli White Truffle Honey. The humble white truffle is the rarest truffle (our favourite fungi!) of all. So why not add it to honey? This Italian white truffle honey will have you singing praises to both truffles and honey. Combining sweetness with earthiness for an all-natural taste, this is certainly one combination mother nature can't help but approve of. It's extra healthy honey! Here are some ideas: truffle honey French toast, truffle honey in your coffee or tea, or brie with truffle honey for when you want to feel swanky.
2. Nude Bee Honey Co. Wildflower Honey. Nude bee honey bares all. It's Canadian, it's completely natural, and best of all, it's raw, meaning that this honey isn't processed in any way. It's collected from Ontario bee farms and sold in a small container. Raw honey has immense benefits as an anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant & anti-viral food. It's also great for people struggling with seasonal pollen allergies. Support Ontario bees. Buy Nude! Drizzle pancakes with raw honey, or use it to glaze vegetables and meats, like carrots, chicken and pork.
3. Bonne Maman Quince Jelly. Bonne Maman is a French preserves company famous for its jams and jellies. This jelly uses the quince, a fruit similar to the pear, which is grown throughout Europe. Quince is a great source of vitamin C, iron, and copper, all needed moderate amounts to maintain the body's functions.
4. Wildly Delicious Maple Pumpkin Butter. Combining our favourites — maple syurp, pumpkin, and butter — into the perfect sweet condiment, it's maple butter! This is an excellent back-to-school breakfast butter for kids (or adults) that love pumpkin spice. Love your pumpkin spice lattes? Why not spice up muffins, toast, tarts, and other warm, bread-based foods with maple butter? Experimenting is worth it.
5. Wildly Delicious Brandied Cherry Butter. Cherries are combined with brandy, apples, red wine vinegar, and spices for a premium taste. This is an adult's gourmet condiment. Add to toast, eat with aged cheeses and eat with plain biscuits or small breads like prosciutto. Cherry butter deserves a place on your cheese board.
What's your favourite? Although we only covered five sweet condiments, rest assured, we have many others in stock, too. Visit our Jam, Honey & Syrup page for more information.
Remember, everything on this list is 15% off in-store, so visit us soon! 187 Cross Avenue. Be there. We'll be waiting!
We look forward to feeding you,
Top 5 Affordable French Gourmet Condiments
In spirit of our huge in-store Condiments Summer Promotion — 15% off all Pantry items! — here are our top ten favourite summertime gourmet condiments. You can BBQ with these or eat them with junk food; it doesn't matter! These condiments taste great whether you're putting them on potato chips or ciabatta bread.
Bénédicta is a very popular condiments company from France that appeals to anyone familiar with the word "gourmand". Gourmand, broadly defined as a love of eating, is a philosophy Bénédicta embraces... in moderation, of course. As do we. We carry four different Bénédicta sauces for you gourmands out there:
-Aioli (salads, finger foods, breads)
-Béarnaise (steak, grilled meats)
-Bourguignonne (steak, mushrooms, escargot)
-Tartare (salmon, seafood)
A famous purée dish of olives, French capers, and olive oil, you'll find residents of almost every Northern and Southern European country snacking on this tasty dip. But tapenade isn't just olives. Many other variations exist, and we've got five varieties (including classic black olive tapenade):
-Black Olive Tapenade
-Green Olive Tapenade
-Kalamata Olive & Fig Tapenade
-Kalamata Olive & Lemon Tapenade
-Green Olive & Almond Tapenade
Tapenade is the ultimate comfort food, despite its fancy name. It's very healthy, too, thanks to its whole ingredients and generous helpings of olive oil. If you love dip but want to cut down on sugar and calories, choose tapenade! Tapenade and celery go great together.
Compote is a sweet condiment from France, most often served with gourmet cheeses. It's created by cooking chunks of softened fruit in water or syrup, with herbs and spices added to the mix. Together, these ingredients produce a rich, thick, and naturally sweet syrup you can add to cakes, cheeses, breads, or eat plain. Think of compote as the upgraded version of jam. Serve with whipped cream for a gourmet dessert! Four types of compote for you to try:
-Blood Orange & Port Compote
-Fig, Brandy & Vanilla Compote
-Cranberry, Port & Pecan Compote
-Tart Cherry & Almond Compote
While these compotes are meant to be eaten with cheeses, they'll still taste great on other foods. We recommend cherry and almond compote on a stack of freshly-made pancakes, with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Yuuuummm.
Not to be confused with chocolate truffles. Truffle, the most gourmet ingredient of them all! The famous and extravagantly priced fungus (fungus!) is found in the wild using dogs and... hogs! Yes, pigs are trained to hunt for truffles. The humble truffle itself has an earthy taste to it. Today, creating truffle-flavoured condiments is easier than ever. Check out our selection!
-White Truffle Oil
-Black Truffle Olive Oil (Mussini)
-White Truffle Olive Oil (Mussini)
-Truffle Mashed Potato Seasoning
-White Truffle Mustard
-White Truffle Honey
So much truffle, so little time. Dress salads, spaghetti, pastas, pizza, and Italian foods with the oils. The truffle cream is for your charcuterie board — if that's not your thing, then eat it with potato chips or finger foods! Truffle mustard adds gourmet to hot dogs and kebabs, while truffle honey is a wholesome ingredient for a wholesome pancake.
Ever heard of the balsamic reduction? This method involves heating balsamic vinegar to its boiling point and then simmering it until it thickens. The final result is a unique, sweet taste. The reduction is often applied to salads, like Caprese. But you can create gourmet French fries, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs & more out of a balsamic glaze. We carry two types of balsamic vinegar:
-Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar
-Maple Balsamic Vinegar
Experiment. Create new dishes out of these condiments and show the world that North American foods go with European condiments! Share your ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook!
We look forward to feeding you,
10 Ways to Lose Weight Easily
If you're struggling to lose weight, here are 10 tips to help you stay lean. Remember, losing weight doesn't mean starving yourself. It means that your eating habits, food, and portion sizes are healthy. Moderation is key, and we embrace that philosophy here at French Lunch.
1. Drink water!! We can't stress this enough. Skip the colas, the juices & the shakes whenever you can. Drink whenever you feel thirsty, and drink some more water when you feel hot. No need to drink 8 ounces a day!
2. Figure out the amount of calories you burn daily using a calorie calculator or guide. If you don't want to bother with that, then just remember this baseline: men need 2,500 kcal a day while women need 2,000 kcal a day. Eat accordingly.
3. Related to the above tip: the average healthy meal is around 700 to 800 calories. If you don't feel like calorie-counting, then just make sure you don't snack too often. That giant fudge brownie can be sliced in half and saved for later. Three meals a day + lots of water in-between = no more hunger pangs after a few weeks!
4. Speaking of three meals a day, keep a consistent eating schedule. Eat at the same time each day no matter what. In Europe, eating times are strict. You absolutely can't skip a meal!
5. Chew your food. Take time to eat. Too many of us rush through meals these days. Part of the traditional family dinner not only helps you bond with others, but also meters your eating habits. Slow, thoughtful chewing means better digestion and more enjoyment. Don't you want to enjoy your food? Don't eat mindlessly!
6. Smaller utensils. Yup, you read right. If you use smaller plates, you'll trick your tummy into thinking that you're eating the same amount, when in reality, you're eating less. You'll get used to eating small & healthy portions this way without stressing out.
7. Cheat days are a-okay. Not all of us can go cold turkey. No need stress yourself out over not eating healthy 100% of the time. Treat yourself and you won't hate yourself! Go ahead and eat the junk food of your choice... but in small portions. 1-3 cookies, 1-2 pieces of chocolate, 1 small milkshake, etc.
8. Eat a wide variety of foods from different cultures. When attempting to lose weight, people often get stuck in a rut. You might think that only one type of diet and one type of meal plan will lose you weight. Nope! Instead, make eating a fun & healthy activity by exploring different cuisines. Mediterranean, Thai, African, Latin American.... all cuisines have healthy meals. You're not limited to just one!
9. Eat fatty foods. Wait... eating high-fat foods when you're trying to lose fat? What is this lunacy? Traditional nutritionists dictate that we should eat less fat. But the keto diet says otherwise. This high-fat, low-calorie diet encourages fats & protein from animals and vegetables, but absolutely no grains!
No need to follow the keto diet completely. Eat healthy fat like eggs, fish, steamed vegetables, butter, cheese, etc. more and your hunger pangs will go away. Eat grain some days, not every day. Alternate between no-grain days and grain days for a healthy balance.
10. Exercise. The dreaded word many of us don't want to hear. Lean bodies are made in the kitchen, yes. But exercise not only helps you maintain weight, it also helps your body with the aging process. Think about it this way: do you want to be old & frail, or old & strong? If you don't want to spend your retirement money on health bills, get your joins in action! Even just walking a mile or so a day helps.
Visit https://frenchlunch.ca for all your health needs. 5% discount on frozen and packaged items for Presto card users! 187 Cross Avenue. Be there.
- Nina Zaitseva
- Tags: condiments diet food healthy healthy meals nutrients nutritious salad weight loss
Canada Day 150: BBQ Party Ideas!
Sooo. The long awaited holiday is nearly here! The 150th birthday we’ve all (well, us Canadians) been waiting for is this Saturday! How will you celebrate our country this year? Perhaps with a backyard BBQ party at a friend or family member’s house, or with your neighbours at an upcoming block party. Maybe the gathering will be more intimate, and take place indoors until nighttime, when the fun starts with a fun fireworks display at the local park!
Impress your gathering with amazing & affordable gourmet condiments from French Lunch. All of these products are easy to pack away for picnics, get-togethers and big trips across Ontario. No refrigeration necessary!
If you have a portable freezer, then grab some of our freshly-made Mediterranean meals to complement these condiments. Everything under $20! We recommend savoury pies like Tartiflette or breaded foods like Cordon Bleu. Salmon works well too! Let’s begin.
White Truffle Oil. This $10 bottle of truffle oil makes for a flavourful and versatile seasoning for all types of foods — French fries, pizza, pasta, grilled veggies & meats, fillet, poutine, burgers, and more. When in doubt, bring out the truffle oil! Impress your friends with your gourmet knowledge. One part white truffles, one part extra virgin olive oil. Product of Italy.
White Truffle Mustard. This Canadian mustard will make you drool in hunger! Combining truffles with white vinegar, wine, brown sugar, sea salt, spice and of course, mustard, your Canada Day hot dogs won’t be complete without it. But it’s not just for hot dogs. Add a dollop of the stuff to finger foods, burgers and even marinade your meats in it for that premium truffle and wine taste!
Quebec Maple Mustard. Another Canadian product (duh!), this simple maple syrup-infused mustard tastes best with meats, of course. Specifically beef, pork, and fish (like Canadian salmon). Spread it on sandwiches for that unique & natural Canadian maple sugar taste!
Maple Balsamic Vinegar. Following our maple train of thought with another Canadian product, this vinegar is balsamic, meaning that it’s a dark-coloured and sweet Italian vinegar that gets its taste from being kept in wooden containers. How’s that for authenticity? Balsamic vinegar is a great BBQ sauce you can add to grilled foods. A very gourmet technique is balsamic reduction, which involves boiling the vinegar and reducing it until it turns into a syrup. This syrup can be used as a tasty dressing for virtually any food! Put this vinegar maple syrup on your pancakes for Canada Day!
Provençal Green Olive Tapenade. This is a French sauce that brings capers, green French olives, anchovies, spices, and olive oil into an aromatic & tasteful blend to act as a spread for finger foods and snacks like sweet potato chips, plain crackers, Mediterranean breads & others. What can you come up with?
Fig, Brandy and Vanilla Compote. Make your guests exclaim in amazement with this sweet Canadian compote. Compote is a dessert similar to jam. To make compote, fruits are cooked in sugars, spices and water and seasoned with herbs. So you get a bunch of different flavours with each bite! Compote tastes great cold or hot, so preparation isn’t an issue. Serve on crackers with a slice of brie cheese and a bit of whipped cream to end your feast. You’ll be remembered fondly!
We’ve chosen six condiments that we sincerely hope you’ll enjoy this Canada Day. If you’re unsure about any of these products, feel free to give us a call or drop by French Lunch to chat with us. We’re open Monday to Thursday from 10 AM to 8 PM, and until 5 PM on Friday. We’re closed for Canada Day this Saturday, as we’ll be in Bronte for Oakville’s Canada Day 150 Celebration.
We look forward to helping you craft a wonderful culinary experience for yourself and loved ones this Canada Day,
- Nina Zaitseva
- Tags: balsamic balsamic vinegar compote condiments maple mustard oil olive oil tapenade truffle vinegar whole ingredients
Gift Ideas for Dad, French Lunch Style!
Father’s Day is June 18 in Canada and the U.S.
On June 17, French Lunch is having a special discount day for Father’s Day shoppers — 10% off all packaged items in store!
What types of products populate our pantry? Let’s have a look at some of our top Father’s Day picks that won’t just impress Dad, but will also impress future BBQ party guests.
Caramelized Onion Confit. Confit is a French culinary term that refers to any preserved food. A confit is cooked in a liquid, like a gravy, to ensure that bacteria doesn’t grow in it when it is preserved. Confit has a long shelf-life, so you can leave it in a cool place or fridge for weeks upon weeks before it goes bad. This delicious onion confit goes great with pretty much any meat- or cheese-laden dish. Eat it as pizza dip or drizzle it on steak. Or eat it by itself!
Tequila Blanco & Chipotle Salsa. This salsa is flavoured with white tequila and chipotle pepper sauce. It’s rather spicy, so watch out! It’ll burn your tongue with flavour, that’s for sure. Dads who live and breathe spice will adore this.
French Onion & Goat Cheese Dip. As the product name implies, this dip is simple and straightforward: French onions and goat cheese are turned into a fine dip for you and Dad to enjoy with pretty much anything savoury. Pair these with our Torres Truffle Chips for the perfect, flavourful snack during long trips.
Maple Bacon and Whipped Mustard Dip. Behold, the most North American blend of them all: maple and bacon! Maple syrup and bacon glaze join forces to create an amazing new taste in a portable container. This dip is perfect for camping trips, cottage trips, hikes & more. If Dad is active and loves the idea of the two twinning, you know he’ll love this. Here’s an idea: add it to steak for even more bacon-y goodness! You can never have too much bacon.
Onion and Red Wine Confit. For Dads who love wine. Before you gift him this, ask him to taste a bit and see if he can detect the subtle red wine undertones. If he can, you know this gift is appropriate! But even Dads without the power of Wine Detection™ will enjoy this confit. It’s a rather traditional French dip that pairs well with steaks, roasts, and any other meat-based dish. And red wine, of course.
White Truffle Oil. A gourmet selection, this made-in-Italy white truffle oil is a finishing oil for savoury foods — everything from pasta and pizza to French fries. “Truffle” refers to the edible fungus known as truffle. White truffle oil is high quality extra virgin oil infused with Italian white truffles, which are the most expensive and most sought-after due to their delicate flavouring. Love mashed potatoes? Drizzle some truffle oil on the dish! Put it on pizza, eggs, beef, mushrooms, fish… even popcorn! It’s an extremely versatile oil and tastes earthy and unique to anyone who’s never had it before.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you have an amazing Father’s Day with the Dads in your life. We hope you come to French Lunch on June 17 to take advantage of our 10% off promo. Buy your dad an exotic, but affordable gourmet treat this year!
We look forward to feeding you,
- Nina Zaitseva
- Tags: condiments confit dips father's day promo salsa sauces truffle truffle oil whole ingredients
Condiments for the Cottage
If you take a look at French Lunch's pantry drop-down menu, you'll discover a number of European snacks and condiments — everything from ketchup to black truffle oil and Béarnaise.
Many of these condiments are perfect for a trip to the cottage. They pair excellently with European foods like crêpes julienne and quiche. Or try them with any appetizer available at our store. But you can eat them with other types of foods too, whether as pizza dip or burger sauce. Here are our favourites!
Aïoli. A Mediterranean garlic, salt and olive oil sauce beloved by many Catalans and Provençals, it tastes great with raw veggies. We include a helping of aioli with all of our lunch starters, and suggest you do the same for your cottage trip! Instead of dipping spoonfuls of salad into a calorie-laden ranch dressing filled with preservatives, grab a bottle of aioli sauce to go! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.
Béarnaise. Béarnaise is a French sauce of clarified butter, egg yolks, and white wine vinegar. European herbs like tarragon, shallots, and chervil are added to increase the sauce’s flavor. When the French buy béarnaise, they buy it for steaks most of the time. So if you’re planning on BBQing at the cottage, you absolutely need to try béarnaise sauce on your next steak! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.
Bourguignonne. Don’t let the long name scare you away! Bourguignonne is a perfectly affordable gourmet sauce made with red wine, meat stock, onions, herbs, a sprinkling of pepper, and a hint of butter. Bourguignonne goes well with many dishes. Steaks, escargot, tartiflette, hachis Parmentier… we recommend buying some of our Belgian Nut potatoes together with Bourguignonne sauce to pair with any steak. You’ll love it! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.
Tapenade. Tapenade is an extremely popular Provençal spread of puréed ingredients: black olives, Kalamata olives, lemons, capers, or other savoury fruits and vegetables soaked in olive oil. It’s traditionally ground into a paste with a mortar and pestle, and dates back to Roman times. We have five types of tapenade for you to try: green olive, black olive, Kalamata and fig, Kalamata, olives & lemon, and green olive & almond. Tapenade works for… basically anything you can dip into a sauce! Use it as sandwich spread together with roti de porc. Dip crêpes into it. Use it as a steak sauce. Use it as salad dressing. Serve it on crackers. Eat it with cod and other fish. The possibilities are endless!
Whichever sauce you choose, know that every sauce listed here is versatile! They add that extra dimension of flavor to any plain dish. They work for you, rather than you having to shape the dish to fit them. And that’s the beauty of Mediterranean, especially French, cuisine — sauces go well with nearly any meal!
Drop by 187 Cross Avenue for amazing French condiments and more. We have an entire pantry section dedicated to European condiments. Show us your Presto card and get 5% off.
We look forward to feeding you,
- Nina Zaitseva
- Tags: aioli bearnaise bourguignonne condiments cottage savoury tapenade vacation whole ingredients