Kitchen Talk - The French Lunch Blog — tapenade
Top 5 Halloween Pantry Products
It's almost time to get spooky & scary! 👻 Booo~
Get out the jack-o-lanterns, because it's Halloween in a week. What's the key to a good Halloween? Good treats, of course! Treat yourself to amazing gourmet food products this Halloween.
Wildly Delicious Petite Maison Tapenade (Kalamata Olive & Fig). Made with Greek Kalamata olives and figs, this Mediterranean-style tapenade is a zesty take on the harvest season, and of course, Halloween. Party idea: serve with Halloween-themed crackers or plain, crunchy breads cut into shapes: ghosts, bats, pumpkins or cats!
Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice Ramen with Miso Soup Mix. Despite its rather unforgiving and decidedly Halloween-esque name, this delicious rice ramen is made with jasmine black rice, an East and Southeast Asian specialty. Black rice contains plenty of antioxidants, so it's way better than plain old white rice. When cooked, its colour changes to a rich, deep purple... quite mesmerizing indeed! Perfect for a Halloween-themed bento. 🍱
Wildly Delicious Maple Pumpkin Butter. This delicious butter is a product we always find ourselves coming back to. It combines our favourites: autumn-appropriate maple with Halloween-friendly pumpkin! Add it to toasts and other baked goods for a tasty start to your day. Halloween party? Butter your pumpkin tarts with maple pumpkin butter for added flavour.
Rième Blood Orange Limonade. A beverage with an ominous name, but a wonderful taste. No worries, there's no blood in this, just oranges! Rième is a popular French artisan beverage brand from France, and we're pleased to make their products available here in Oakville, Ontario. Serve at Halloween parties or enjoy together with forbidden rice ramen! All Rième products are organic, GMO-free, kosher, and have natural sugars. No preservatives!
Classic Biscuit & Wafer Assortment. Tired of Halloween-themed foods? Serve these classy, classic German biscuits at your Halloween party and charm your guests. These pretty little biscuits and wafers come in different shapes, sizes, and flavours. If the little witches and wizards in your life want to hold a Halloween tea party, these biscuits are perfect.
Trick-or-treat! Let French Lunch treat you this Halloween. Grab your favourite gourmet condiments in-store, 15% off before October 31, 2017. 🎃
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,
5 Gourmet Condiments You Need to Try Right Now
BBQ season is in full swing. What better way to impress family, friends and yourself than with affordable gourmet condiments. Some of these you may have never even heard of! That's OK. French Lunch is here to cultivate your culinary knowledge. Make fine dining a staple at your next BBQ with these five gourmet super condiments.
This amazing steak sauce from France is meant to garnish steaks, but use it to garnish sides too! This sauce consists of beef simmered in red wine, usually red Burgundy wine. A scrumptious haute cuisine staple that you can drizzle over your Parisian potatoes after BBQing them. Spread the juiciness equally!
This oil takes the traditional Provençal herb mixture, Herbes de Provence, and distills it into an aromatic gourmet condiment! A sunflower oil-infused mix combines rosemary and thyme for a lovely taste. Ideal for salad dressings.
Where would French cuisine be without confit, the famous gourmet preserve? Confits come in many varieties, especially meats — the most popular being duck confit. But as we all know, you can preserve vegetables too! This olive oil- and herb-rich onion confit will leave a sweet but hearty taste in your mouth. Who can say no to caramelized onions? Not us! Serve with steak or any main course, meat-laden or otherwise.
If you read our blog, tweets, and FB posts, you know how much we love this classic Provençal meal-come-condiment. Yes, tapenade can be eaten by itself on bread, but that’s a bit boring, don’t you agree? Try grilled zucchini with this olive & fig tapenade or serve it on crackers topped with mozzarella or brie… we recommend brie and fig tapenade because of the awesome contrast. Three flavours at once!
The humble, yet gourmet truffle is a fungus… so what on earth is it doing in honey? Sounds like a strange combination, but we assure you that it’s a fantastic one. When white truffles and acacia honey are blended together, the result is a naturally earthy and sweet taste. We recommend you glaze your grilled meats with truffle honey, especially chicken. Cheese lovers can eat it with their favourite aged cheeses. Consider baking your cheeses first!
Which condiment do you look forward to trying? Enjoy summer sprucing up your BBQ game with affordable gourmet from French Lunch.
We look forward to feeding you!
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
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