Kitchen Talk - The French Lunch Blog — whole ingredients
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,
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
Planning an Excellent BBQ: Dips & Spreads
BBQ season is here and in full swing! Love and respect your grill. Treat yourself to the gourmet experience. Allow French Lunch to turn your next barbecue party into a hit. The following list is filled with products that we know you’ll enjoy and won’t be able to get enough of. This is the first article in a four-part series on BBQ condiments.
Not a fan of BBQ? No worries. The products we mention here and throughout our BBQ articles work with many cooked meats and savoury dishes. Pizza, hot dogs, shepherd’s pie, kebabs, wings, burgers, and more!
Bread Dipper. French Lunch has 3 different types of bread dippers for you to choose from: herbed balsamic, roasted garlic and parmesan, and sundried tomato and basil. The name bread dipper is a generic term given to any condiment you can dip grain-based foods into… like bread! Think of it as gourmet pizza dip. All 3 bread dippers contain extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oils. Dip your freshly-prepared grilled burger buns into them and take a bite! We recommend the sundried tomato and basil one. 150 ml each. Products of Canada.
Salsa. We carry 4 types of salsa: natural, corn, fire-roasted poblano peppers & lime, and tequila blanco & chipotle. We all know what good old salsa is. It’s not just a dance, it’s a thick sauce made with tomatoes, chili peppers, spices, vegetables like onions, and herbs. Salsas go great with Mexican foods: tortillas, nachos, burritos, tacos, and so on. You can even eat them with fruits, like mangoes! 410 ml or 500 ml. Products of Canada.
Oven-Roasted Tomato & Basil Bruschetta. The condiment bruschetta is an absolutely delicious tomato sauce adapted from the classic Italian starter bruschetta, a grilled garlic bread often topped with tomatoes, onions, basil, beans, meats, and cheese. The oven-roasted tomatoes in this bruschetta make plain bread pop with flavour. Give your BBQ gourmet flair by serving your guests grilled bruschetta bread with bruschetta sauce as an appetizer. They’re sure to be impressed. 240 g. Product of Canada.
French Onion & Goat Cheese Dip. So good you can eat it plain. Most of the sauce’s flavour comes from the French onion base, but the goat cheese adds a creamy touch to temper the whole deal. Dip breads, pizza, and chips into it. Add it to burgers and sandwiches. Use it in the place of mustard on hot dogs. Eat it with salad. Heck, dip grilled meats into it! This dip works with virtually every food. 230 g. Product of Canada.
Artichoke & Parmesan Dip. The bitter flavour of artichokes disappears with a blend of parmesan in this dip. This unique dip is ideal for grilled breads, vegetables (cooked or uncooked) like broccoli, chips, quiche, and even certain meat dishes like buffalo wings. The artichoke is a very Mediterranean gourmet vegetable! 230 g. Product of Canada.
Whipped Dips. All three of our whipped dips go perfectly with finger foods. Add a dollop of each to pieces of bread, roasted vegetables, mini pizzas, mini sausage rolls and more. Goat Cheese and Red Peppers with Whipped Cream Cheese dip gives grilled foods gourmet pizzaz. Goat cheese is a staple of Mediterranean gourmet after all.
Sundried Tomato & Bacon with Whipped Cream Cheese pairs well with grilled vegetables like zucchini, alongside sliders, prosciutto breads, and bagels… in fact, all three of these dips go great with toasted bagels!
Finally, we have Maple Bacon Whipped Mustard. Sandwiches and hotdogs are among many of the best foods to pair this dip with! Don’t be afraid to try non-Western foods with these dips either. You might discover an amazing new taste!
Thanks for reading! Come back next Wednesday for our next BBQ condiments article on classic sauces like tapenade, as well as BBQ marinades, creams & more.
We look forward to feeding you!
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
French Gourmet at the Cottage
Coq au vin in your cottage with a glass of red wine for you and your SO... sounds rather romantic, doesn't it? Your elegant getaway won't be the same without classic French meals to make the entire experience unforgettable.
Food can make or break a vacation. Instead of stockpiling junk food for your trip, here are the French Lunch dishes we recommend for maximum affordability and health, the haute cuisine way.
Pilaf may be a simple dish that takes very little time to prepare, but it can be difficult to master. Our pilaf is fragrant, fluffy and firm, thanks to basmati rice. We use French herbs and spices for seasoning, blending rich Mediterranean flavours together. When you're at your cottage, you'll want something easy to prepare — surely, you've got many activities planned. Some nights may lead you back to the cottage at midnight. And what better way to quell your rumbling stomach than with a healthy dish ready in less than 10 minutes? Don't let cooking anxieties eat up your vacation time!
Crêpes with julienne (chicken or mushroom)
These crêpes are stuffed with julienne. If you want to enjoy them the authentic French way, dip them into a tapenade or other French sauce. Savoury crêpes taste great with sauces! Another easily-microwaveable dish, you'll spend next to no time preparing it. Crêpes are a go-to classic for most, and make for a healthy breakfast. They'll give you a lot of energy for those long road trips to national parks, houses of family members and friends, and so on.
Cordon bleu with French mashed potatoes
Cordon bleu is a French croquette-come-schnitzel with a fried meat (chicken) exterior and a cheesy interior. A heavenly dish fit to challenge the beloved crêpe, cordon bleu is a great all-season breakfast food. If your cottage is somewhere up north, piping hot cordon bleu will remind you of warmer times. On a sunny, hot morning, cordon bleu and a side of grape tomatoes with aioli dip present a refreshing contrast — a mouthful of hot cordon bleu offset by the cool taste of a tomato dipped into an olive sauce.
Our signature dish, coq au vin is a chicken stew simmered in red wine and vegetables, along with French herbs and spices. It tastes great with wines. You’d think a wine-based dish would be fine by itself (and you’d be right if you’re not wine fan), but we assure you that coq au vin tastes better when paired with wine than without. Pop it into your cottage’s oven and it’ll be ready within half an hour, giving you enough time to prepare for dinner. A hearty and romantic classic dish, your cottage escapades won’t be the same without it!
Like coq au vin, beef provençale is a stew cooked in red wine. Provençale generally refers to any stew containing tomatoes, garlic and olive oil — the rest of the ingredients are up to you. Provençale is similar to ratatouille in its vegetable ingredients, but it’s arguably much heartier due to its thick and tasty gravy. Provençale is perfect for a cold, rainy day’s dinner at the cottage, or a romantic evening with your S.O. The kids will appreciate this stew too. After a long and exhausting trip to the cottage, an oven-ready beef provençale will fill your stomach and help you sleep better, so you can start your vacation stress-free and nutritiously!
Salmon with Sauce au Beurre Blanc, Rice and Broccoli
This Canadian steelhead salmon is marinated in maple syrup for a delightfully sweet and savoury taste. Dip it into golden beurre blanc (white butter, onion, white wine) sauce and prepare to be blown away! A light and well-balanced meal of lean white meat, carbs, and a green vegetable that will energize you for yachting, hikes, and tours to come
These are our top six meal choices for vacations to the cottage. Of course, we have plenty more to show at https://frenchlunch.ca.
Your vacation should be fun, simple, and easy. And most importantly, stress-free (as in, no cooking worries!). That’s why we’re here to provide you with stress-free, affordable, healthy and gourmet meals. Trade the junk food for whole foods. Cooked and packaged by us. Preservative- and sodium-free. Visit 187 Cross Avenue today!
We look forward to feeding you,
- Nina Zaitseva
- Tags: cottage dinners fresh ingredients freshly cooked lunches vacation whole ingredients