Steve and Sharon have been playing hooky at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, charged with the unenviable task of sampling hundreds of gourmet products to bring you the best of the fanciest food. While they recover from this backbreaking work, we at Paris Grocery have stepped in to show you some of our latest and greatest. But, ne vous inquietez pas (don’t worry), The Spanish Table portion will be back in full force next week.

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Pyrenées dreamin’

The Thursday afternoon hustle and bustle at Paris Grocery was pleasantly interrupted by Olivier, from Corsican Cheese Cellars, who came bearing gifts. The gift was in the form of Carine, a Pyrennoise by origin, who is dedicated to helping international markets discover regional artisans. Though many know the Pyrenées region as the rugged backdrop for some of the Tour de France’s most vicious ascents, fewer people have discovered the profound gastronomical heritage of the region. The convergence of French, Mediterranean, Basque, Occitan and Catalan cultures result in a rich and varied cuisine de terroir. Because this region is often overlooked, there is still a handcrafted ethos behind each wheel of cheese that comes our way. As we’ve sampled cheeses, chocolates and wines from all over France, we find ourselves drawn to the subtle depth of these Pyrenean treasures. The clean mountain flavors bring to mind the farmer who crafted them, and we can easily imagine how these cheeses are a daily presence on the tables of their communities. We are thrilled to have three new cheeses from this region and hope they will become a part of your daily table, as they have become of ours.

PARIS GROCERY CHEESES

Valle d’Aspe, Chevre

This aged goat cheese epitomizes an authentic chèvre from the French Pyrenees. Complex and delicate nuances: fruity, tangy, and a little salty. It finishes with an irresistible caramelized nuttiness.

Le Somport

A deliciously mild and creamy raw cow’s milk cheese from a cooperative of small producers in the French Pyrenees. The cheese is not pressed, allowing for a rustic, non-uniform texture. Nutty flavors with hints of fruit on the lush finish.

Ossau-Iraty

A classic! A raw sheep’s milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. Hints of mingling herbs and fruit, with mellow nutty undertones and a creamy, buttery finish. Excellent with a black cherry confit.

Back in stock: Truffle Salt and individually-wrapped salted butter caramels from Brittany!

NEW FRENCH WINES

2007 Chateau Picau-Perna St-Emilion

Recently designated as the #1 Bordeaux under $20 by The New York Times, this St-Emilion is an exceptional value in French wines. Equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and spiced with 18% Cabernet Franc, this wine is refreshingly fragrant and balanced, with the ability to age for several years. Juicy and with appealing earthy notes and hints of wet stone, it pairs beautifully with braised meats and lentils.

Domaine des Gatinauds Pineau des Charentes Blanc

Charente, the region where Cognac is produced, is also the home of a delicious fortified wine known as Pineau de Charentes. The Rivière family has been producing Cognac and Pineau on their estate since 1804, and have received many awards. Made from a blend of unfermented grape must and young Cognac, it is light and sweet with pleasing notes of nuts, dried fruits and oak spice.