Top 5 Affordable French Gourmet Condiments

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.

 

1. Bénédicta Sauces

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)

 

2. Tapenade

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.

 

3. Compote

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.

 

4. Truffles

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 Cream
-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.

 

5. Balsamic Vinegar

 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,

French Lunch

French Lunch Gourmet: Choosing The Perfect Dessert

French Lunch Gourmet: Choosing The Perfect Dessert

After a lavish coq au vin, it’s always delightful to end with an equally lavish dessert —perhaps one or two petit fours, an éclair, or crème brulée. French Lunch has almost as many desserts as it does main courses, and you’re bound to find something you like among our selection of gourmet European pastries, chocolates, cakes, tarts, and more. All of our desserts are imported from Europe, mainly France, and are mostly French in origin. Let’s go over them briefly.

Chocolate éclairs. A good old éclair can’t do you wrong if you’re not big on European treats, as you can get them at any grocery store, coffee shop, or restaurant these days across Canada. How do our éclairs differ? For one, we’re completely transparent about what’s inside them, all the way down to the preservatives (some are required for the éclair to keep while shipping). Main ingredients include water, sugar, eggs, and flour.

Chocolate lava cake. Warm it in the oven, slice it in half, and watch the chocolate syrup within ooze out like a mini waterfall. This is a dark chocolate-flavoured lava cake (24%) with sugar, butter, crème fraiche (a fattier version of sour cream used in France), eggs, flour, and cocoa powder. Perfect for a cold, rainy day in spring.

Lemon meringue tartlets. A tangy, yet sugary dessert that will cool you down on a hot day. The tartlet portion forms a slight crust around the cream, preventing it from sliding downwards and giving the tiny pie a neat form factor. Take one to work with you and leave it in the fridge for three hours before lunch or maybe just before your shift ends, and it’s ready to eat. Remember to put your name on it so no one steals it! Made from sugar, eggs, wheat, butter, lemon juice and almond powder.

Crème brulée. A dessert native to France, our crème brulée is from Québec, which is close enough culturally. It comes in a pack of two. This brulée is a blend of cream, egg yolks, partially skimmed milk, sugar, starch, and a packet of caramelized sugar (that red stuff on the top of the brulée). This dessert requires at least 8 hours of defrosting time in your fridge, but the wait is oh so worth it. It’s like ice cream custard. If warmed, it melts on your tongue, along with the caramelized sugar topping, and produces a heavenly taste. You will want more.

Hot chocolate soufflés. Another pack of two from Quebec, the soufflé has white chocolate and cookie crumbs inside. Defrost it in the fridge for 8 hours and warm it in the microwave. Grab a bit of vanilla ice cream to go with it and you’ll have a mouthwatering hot and cold dessert: an ice cream soufflé!

Key lime cheesecake. Separated into three lovely colours indicating cream cheese (white), key lime cream (yellow), or graham crumbs (brown), this is a rather picturesque dessert. Defrost it, grab a spoonful and see if you’ve created a neat division of layers. Try the cream cheese layer first, then the key lime, and finally, the graham. It’s more fun to eat each layer one by one so you can discover for yourself how the ingredients complement one another!

Caramel flan. In France, this dessert is also known as crème caramel, but both terms are used interchangeably. This is a soft, spongy caramel custard from Quebec in a pack of two. This is a plain dessert, as its main ingredients are cream, eggs, and caramel, but there’s a hint of coconut in there too. If you’ve eaten a spicy dish and want a light dessert to alleviate your tongue, look no further than caramel flan.

Red velvet cheesecake. Mmmm, red velvet! In cheesecake form, no less. Vibrant strawberry pureé over red velvet, with white stripes of vanilla and a little dollop of cream cheese on top. It’s a great gift to give someone (or yourself). Give it to Mom for Mother’s Day, or eat it just because. Who needs an excuse to eat a perfectly good cheesecake?

Exotic petit fours and chocolate petit fours. Petit fours are small and often, cute-looking individualized confections topped with a variety of sweet ingredients. They’re often sold in large sets, and tend to offer diners a bit of every dessert out there. Both of our petit four sets are from France, so you know you’re getting quality chocolates.

Petit fours (eight) – names and ingredients you might not know

  • Far Breton: a miniature Far Breton cake, this petit four combines flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter with floured prunes and powdered sugar.
  • Chocolate éclair: a miniature éclair!
  • Praline choux: a petit four based off the Paris-Brest pastry with praline cream using choux pastry dough (the kind of dough used to make éclairs)
  • Hazelnut ganache: ganache refers to icing or glaze used to fill chocolate pastries. It’s made by pouring hot cream over chocolate and then stirring it to remove all lumps.
  • Fleur de sel: this literally translates to “flower of salt” and refers to sea salt. Fleur de sel is used to add more flavouring to foods, and is often sprinkled on chocolate to balance its taste.

Canelés de Bordeaux. Onto the rather noteworthy gourmet foods! Canelés de Bordeaux are round, rum-based pastries with vanilla and custard interiors and caramel exteriors. They have a unique flower-like indentation at their peaks and can be eaten during any meal of the day — including breakfast. Our French canelés are composed of sugar, wheat, rum, milk, and powdered eggs. If you want a sophisticated dessert, take these canelés home.

French macarons. Colorful and adorable, macarons are iconic these days. No French food shop is whole without them, including us — that’s why we went out of our way to import these macarons straight from France for you to enjoy. Each pack contains a dozen macarons: chocolate, lemon and vanilla.

French Lunch has more than 11 desserts for you to dig into — and we’ve only gone over the frozen ones in this article. We have more in our pantry, including chocolate fleur de salt, packaged Belgian macarons, and assorted biscuits. What’s your favourite?

As always, we look forward to feeding you,

French Lunch