Salt and oil and vinegar, oh my! Monday, Oct 3 2011 

Paris Grocery News
October 3rd, 2011
The days are getting cooler, the holidays are coming, and our palates are about to be overwhelmed by a season of cake, pie, cookies, and other sweets. We love them of course, but sometimes it seems like the entire world of salty, sour, smoky, and tangy flavors gets overlooked this time of year. This week, we want to talk to you about our amazing variety of salts, oils, and vinegars. The difference in even a simple meal between using basic salts, oils, and vinegars and high quality products is substantial. Quality oils, exotic salts, and special vinegars make beautiful hostess gifts as well. We’re going to start doing oil tastings here at the shop soon, so you can come in a taste the difference!
Les Moulins Mahjoub organic extra virgin olive oil from Tunisia

The secret of Les Moulins Mahjoub olive oil lies in the choice of methods of grinding and pressing the fresh, organic fruit, designed to preserve the full flavor of the olive: crushing time, grinding under cold conditions, use of scourtins (round pressing mats) in natural fibers, selection of oil according to pressing, decantation using a hand skimming process, storage and maturation. The oil is not separated by centrifugation, but by natural decantation. As the oil is lighter, it floats to the top, above the vegetable water, enabling it to be skimmed off. Before bottling, the oil is left to settle and mature for some time until its flavor, odor and acidity are perfect. 37 cl, $10.99 or 1 L $21.99.

Castelas extra virgin olive oil. A.O.C. Vallée des Beaux de Provence

These people really, *really* love olive oil. Expounding upon the terroir of their patch of Provence, the family-owned Castelas suggests tasting this oil as you would a fine wine. It smells of, freshly cut grass and the olives’ green fruitiness, typical of an oil extracted from freshly harvested fruit. On the palate, intense olive flavors develop into exquisite notes of raw artichoke and sweet almonds. On the finish, delicate sensations heightened by peppery aromas and an enlivening hint of freshness. Try a comparison between their signature oil and their ‘black fruit’ oil as well. The darker fruit is more earthy and stronger flavored, as it takes more of these olives to produce a bottle of oil. 500 ml $25.00, or 750 for $35.00.

Banyuls vinegar

Banyuls vinegar is like sherry wine vinegar’s more refined and delicate French cousin. Like Port and sherry wine, Banyuls is a fortified sweet wine. Made from grenache grown in and around Banyuls-sur-mer, Banyuls vinegar develops a walnut, coffee, licorice, and vanilla, flavor and aroma of fresh plums after being aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of five years. Like sherry wine vinegar, it makes a great vinaigrette, and mixes well with nut oils. Its natural sweetness also makes it an good choice for deglazing rich dishes like sautéed duck or foie gras. It can be difficult to find, but we have two kinds! a five year old, 500 ml bottle ($16.99) and a six year old, 750 ml bottle ($26.99).

Fusion Verjus

This vinegar alternative is made from vinifera grapes harvested and crushed in mid-summer when acid levels are high and sugar levels are low. This “must” remains unfermented and is delicately tart, refreshing, and versitile in cooking. Fusion vejus enjoys a natural affinity to wine. It has a milder, more wine-friendly acidity compared to vinegars, which actually helps to integrate the food and wine. Where you might be tempted to stick to fuller-bodied wines when cooking with vinegar, verjus allows a more delicate wine to retain its integrity when paired with a strongly flavored food. 750 ml bottle of Red- $13.99 or White- $15.99.

saltsaltsaltsaltsaltysaltysalt

This week we got in some brand new salts and replenished our old favorites. I couldn’t quite fit them all on the plate, but I think you get the picture; fine regional, smoked, and flavored salts aren’t just tasty, they make visually stunning additions to your kitchen and table. Put them on display with an adorable salt pig like the one shown here($13.99), or in any suitable salt cellar. We pack them out ourselves for you, and prices range from $3.00-$7.00 for 2-4 ounces, varying by salt type.

In this picture:

Smoked Cherrywood sea salt

Raspberry Chipotle

Culinary grade Dead Sea Salt

French Harvest Blend Sea Salt

Saffron Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Wakame Sea Weed Sea Salt

French Lavender

additionally, we carry:

truffle sea salt

porcini sea salt

fleur du sel

french grey salt

lemon sea salt

smoked gralic sea salt

garlic and onion sea salt

smoked alderwood sea salt

Wine

2003 Clos de Brusquieres $22.99

I know, I know, I keep talking to you about Chaeauneuf-du-pape. Call me obsessed, but we just got in the best deal I’ve seen through our doors yet, so I’ve got to gush.

To quote Robert Parker (who gives it 90 points), “The superb 2003 Chateauneuf-du-pape is a deep ruby color with a big, sweet, flamboyant nose of damp earth, ground pepper, kirsch liqueur, licorice, and spice box. It is dense, full-bodied with relatively elevated levels of glycerin, moderate tannin, and some noticeable alcohol in the heady, long finish”. This wine offers a rustic, burly palate, and is not for lovers of more polished, reserved wines!

Veuve Devienne rosé sec sparkling wine and Veuve Devienne brut sparkling wine $9.99

These sparklers are just plain fun. The white is light and refreshing with floral notes that stay away from being too sweet or gaudy. The rosé is juicier, with rhubarb and raspberry overtones. At this price, these are great sparklers to start off an evening out with friends or to bring to a larger gathering.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

 

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and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
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A wine and cheese shop with a french mood1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.0679Monday-Saturday
10 to 6
Sunday
11 to 5

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Paris Grocery News 7/11 Monday, Jul 11 2011 

No sleep til Brooklyn! (Because they're on a sugar high from these awesome syrups.)

New @ PG

Fancy syrups, hearty salami, and a texture-driven sweet: our new favorite things.

Florence Fabricant’s “Food Stuff” column in the New York Times is starting to get downright creepy. Every piece is either about some lovely product we just bought, or some new product we’d be stupid not to get. Thus: Royal Rose syrups! Handcrafted in Brooklyn, these organic syrups beautify cocktails, sodas, and desserts. Available in rose, lavender-lemon, cardamom-clove, and three chiles. Because we will do anything that FloFab tells us to do. $11.99 ($10.99 for the three chiles.)

Our love affair with Zoe’s Meats continues. Just in time for summer, we’ve brought in their Genovese salami. It’s a slightly larger diameter salami that’s completely nitrite free with a lean pork-to-fat ratio. Made with pinot grigio (rather than the sweeter sherry wine that they use in their house salami), its milder, juicier flavor makes for a great picnic salami that will go well with a varied spread. $21.99/lb

Share if you must.

Stroopwafels! (We really like saying that.) These incredible Dutch cookies are also referred to as “butter syrup waffles” (!) or “honey syrup waffles.” What they are: A gooey layer of buttery honey goodness smooshed between two chewy waffle cookies. Some people will say they are a little too sweet. Step slowly away from such people while concealing the bag of stroopwafels behind your back. They’re yours now. $5.39

Wine @ PG

Taking a break from our rosé obsession. (But omg there are so many good ones in the shop right now you have to come buy rosé!)

Yep, we're still buying great whites and reds.

Vignobles Fontan Domaine de Maubet 2010

Gascony whites never fail to please. This blend of Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng, and Sauvignon blanc is refreshing without being too acidic. Tropical fruit on the nose, and an interesting note of grassiness on the finish. The screw-top bottle makes this one picnic-friendly. $8.99

Domaine A. et P. De Villaine Bouzeron 2009

For a perhaps more elegant get-together. This wine is made with Aligoté doré, a regional varietal that makes for versatile and aromatic wines. We love this Bouzeron; it’s crisp and lean with earthy, stony notes. It’s got a ton of finesse and understated earthiness. Excellent as an apéritif, and would pair well with seafood or a plate of cheeses. $26.99

Château Mazeau Bordeaux 2009

For those who still crave a deep red during the summer, we’ve brought in this nice quaffer from Bordeaux. Juicy red fruit flavors that deepen on the palate into a lingering, dry finish. Notes of licorice, coffee, and tobacco (oh, yeah). Can’t go wrong with price, either: $9.99

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 6/10 Friday, Jun 10 2011 

Snacks that do a lot of work.

Food @ PG

When summer comes, it’s nice give the stove and oven a break as much as possible. Grab a jar of something savory and add it to cold pasta, salads, and snack plates. Try a flavorful terrine or pâté for a simple sandwich that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. Or consider a high-quality snack from the freezer. Here are our new favorite snacks that make life easy.

Grilled Fennel by Ritrovo

Set in olive oil with a bit of white wine, garlic, and parsley. Add to a tapas plate along roasted red peppers and some rustic charcuterie. ($10.99/10-oz. jar)

Marinated Carrots with Fennel by Arthur Épicerie Fine

Yep, we’re a little obsessed with fennel. Set in sea salt, these carrots and fennel taste unbelievably fresh. They’d be great with a plate of smoked salmon and a glass of cold white wine. ($6.49/10-oz. jar)

Balsamic Roasted Onions & Beets by Arthur Épicerie Fine

Made with a little red wine vinegar and a touch of brown sugar. Perfect with cold meat (maybe leftovers from last night?), salad, or a cheese plate. ($9.99/4.6-oz. jar)

Rillettes: Maybe the most savory stuff on Earth.

Rillettes du Périgord

A spread made from duck meat that’s been simmered in spices, juices, and fat, so the meat can soak up as much flavor as possible.  ($13.99/7-oz. terrine)

Last summer my friends and I had a particularly lovely picnic. To supplement the simple fruit, charcuterie, and salads we’d brought, we stopped by Café Presse for some rillette sandwiches. I remember thinking, are these gonna be a little too heavy for a hot summer day? Later, eating one, I thought, you shouldn’t be allowed to think anymore. They were awesome. Make your own baguette sandwiches with this terrine of rillettes from Fabrique Delices, a brand we like very much. I’d add quick-pickled red onion and shredded carrots, but classic accompaniments such as cornichons and mustard would also be great.

Frozen crepes: Making Sunday even Sunday-ier.

White Toque Frozen Crêpes

Now in the freezer case: ready-to-go crêpes for the lazy brunch chef. Made with just nine ingredients that are all extremely pronounceable. Just thaw and heat and pile on the spreads/protein/fruit/you know what to do. ($7.99/package of 6)

*Now on sale: White Toque 15 Organic Mini Fillo Shells were $5.99, they’re now just $1.99! Maybe you have some fillings looking for a home. They are flaky and fancy and delicious.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 2/26 Saturday, Feb 26 2011 

"I take it with sugar!" -Paul Verlaine, noted poet, rebel, and absinthe addict.

Food & Sweets @ PG

A shipment of items so wonderful and weird, I have to mention them all.

Absinthe Sugar by Bonnecaze & Cie (5¢). These sugar cubes are ostensibly more “melty” (technical term) than other sugar cubes—the better to pour absinthe over, my dear. Also for people who love tiny things in old-timey packaging.

"To feel bright and alert."

Underberg ($1.79/each or $4.99/3). I was having a drink at 611 Supreme one night and saw a display of this herbal digestive sitting on the bar. The picture on the box—a lady in white offering up a handful of herbs that swirled and floated away to the heavens—was just too much. The bartender recommended we knock back the entire 20 mL (ingredients: water, alcohol, natural flavors from herbs and roots of the genus gentiana) all at once. I have not been sick since, and also I seem to be able to lift cars. No, not really. But this stuff packs one intense and herbaceous punch!

Assorted Chocolate Mini-bars by Ritter Sport (60¢). Many customers have mentioned their love for this German brand of chocolate, so we’ve brought these in as our latest evil plot against you (wherein we place candy at the register and you can’t resist it). Flavors: milk chocolate, hazelnut, marzipan, nougat, yogurt, cornflakes (my favorite!), and butter cookie.

Snack attack.

Orange Oat Crisps by Gille ($3.79). These biscuits from Sweden are infused with orange flavor and drizzled with Belgian chocolate. We love the light, crispy texture.

Crème Brûlée Mix by Dr. Oetker ($2.99). For the lazy chef, we think this brand of dessert mixes from Canada offers the best quality. And, as it says in tantalizing script on the box, it comes “With Caramelizing Sugar.”

Licorice Cats by Dutch Sweets ($2.99). They’re a bit chewy, semi-hard, and shaped like a cat. Eating black cats: perhaps a holdover from our ancient pagan days?

Double Salt Licorice by Gustaf’s ($3.79). We’ve had many requests for this! I fancy myself a bold eater of extreme flavors, but these supremely salty coins of licorice are only for the die-hard fan.

Thank you, Norway!

Gjetost Cheese by Ski Queen ($6.99). This golden brown block of cheese from Norway is made from a blend of cow’s and goat’s milk. The milk is cooked until it caramelizes, giving it a nutty, mildly sweet flavor. We love the red packaging with its IKEA font. It’s best when sliced with a cheese plane and served with fruit and crispbread. It’s known as a skier’s snack in Norway; throw your own après-ski party and introduce your friends to this amazing cheese.

More of our favorite thing: Food en Tube!

Mayonnaise by Mills ($3.29). It’s mayo in a tube from Norway. From their website: “ideal for garnising (sic), enhacing (sic) the taste of sandwiches, dips and sauces, weather (sic) it be for everyday use or on special occations (sic).” Yes!

Pure Almond Paste by Odense ($7.49). Made with mostly almonds, along with sugar and glucose syrup, this brand of almond paste imported from Denmark is widely heralded as the best by the choosy denizens of the internet (we’re included in that category).

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 2/12 Saturday, Feb 12 2011 

 

Heart-shaped cheese. You know you love it.

Cheese @ PG

Oh yes, we brought in Valentine’s Day cheeses. What do you think, we’re made of stone? Pictured is the delightful Coeur du Berry ($10.99/each), an ash-rind fresh goat cheese with a dense texture and tart notes of lemon. We like the heart shape, but we suggest chopping it in half if you’re feeling rebellious to the saccharine mood. We also have customer favorite Grès Champenois ($7.99/each), a triple cream from Champagne, packaged with a red heart sticker at this time of year. It’s silky, oozy, nutty, rich, and tart—pair it with fizzy for an indulgent evening. L’Explorateur ($9.99/each) is another classic triple cream. Made in Ile-de-France, this cheese has buttery, mushroomy notes and a supremely creamy texture. No hearts on this one, just a rocket ship that celebrates the first U.S. satellite.

Wine @ PG

Heading south for terrific values and big, bright flavors.

Pretend You're in the South of France.

Les Fontanelles Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d’Oc 2009 ($7.99)

With grapes selected from the vineyards of the small village of Puicheric in Southern France, this white is light, dry, and brimming with citrus notes. It offers a great mouthfeel and a clean finish. We are looking forward to white wines and couldn’t resist bringing in this unbelievably priced refresher!

Chateau du Seuil Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rose 2009 ($10.99)

A textbook Provencal pink wine: fruit and minerals in harmony. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. We brought this is last summer, and it’s holding up remarkably well, so we brought some more in. We’re able to offer it at this reduced price (was $14.99).

Domaine la Bastide “Les Genets” Syrah 2008 ($11.99)

Flavors of dark ripe fruit, coffee, and black tea, this 100% Syrah is essentially Corbières without being able to call itself that. This producer is known for exceptional wines, and we couldn’t resist the terrific value on this cuvée.

Craves @ PG

Blood orange: You heard it here first!

We’re more than a little excited about the latest Vosges chocolate offering—a 70% dark chocolate bar infused with blood orange caramel, hibiscus flowers, and Campari. It’s what we imagine a Tuscan afternoon tastes like. While we’re at it, we’d like to officially note that blood orange seems to be the new “it” flavor (we should have been more careful when we called “pie is the new cupcake” and “mostarda is the new chutney”: we didn’t get any credit for those.) Grab one of these attractive and unique chocolate bars for the attractive and unique one in your life.

Gifted @ PG

Nine ways to spice things up.

We love to buy spices and herbs in bulk; it avoids the price of expensive packaging and gives us a chance to offer a great value. We’ve put together these fantastic boxes of nine herbs and spices; they’re sort of a starter set for French and Moroccan cooking necessities. Just the right amount to experiment and find your new favorite seasoning! Each box includes the following:

  • Tarragon: French tarragon has a mint-anise taste that is particularly suited to vinegar and fish. It also goes well with poultry, vegetables, and fruits. Use it in the classic sauces remoulade and béarnaise.
  • Sel Gris de Guerande: This fine French sea salt with traces of mineral-rich grey crystals has been hand-harvested in Brittany. Its high moisture content gives it resilience on red meat, vegetables, cheeses, and chocolates.
  • Juniper Berries: A bittersweet, piney aroma. Crush juniper berries before using them in marinades for game, beef, or pork.
  • Lavender: A soft, floral aroma and taste pairs nicely with dishes both sweet and savory. Use in baking or roasts.
  • White Peppercorns: White pepper has a slightly musky aroma and flavor which goes especially well with meats such as pork. Gentle heat and invisible color make them a great alternative to standard black peppercorns.
  • Herbes de Provence: A mixture of thyme, marjoram, savory, and other herbs, but it’s the dried lavender that gives this blend its unique flavor profile. Pairs well with poultry, soups, and sauces.
  • Green Anise: Very sweet and aromatic, with a licorice-like flavor. Used as often in savory dishes with seafood or poultry as in sweet pastries and desserts. An essential herb for many French and Moroccan dishes.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds: The most commonly used mustard seed. Used in pickling, sausage-making, and boiled vegetable dishes such as cabbage.
  • Berbere Pepper: A melange of spices made with chile pepper, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, and garlic. Sort of a cross between a spicy paprika and a curry, it’s commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine.

 
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 12/11 Saturday, Dec 11 2010 

 

Food En Tube

Wine @ PG

 

Rainy Day Wines

New to the shop: Three unique wines with a bit of richness for the rainy days ahead.

Schroedel Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace ($17.99)

This estate lies in a Alsatian village known for an exceptional microclimate of sunny and dry days, which allows the grapes to ripen gradually for supremely aromatic and concentrated wines. This pink cremant is made with 100% Pinot Noir. We loved this yummy wine.  It presents lovely green apple aromas with a round mouthfeel and toasty notes on the finish.

2008 Albert Bichot Pouilly-Fuiseé ($18.99)

Bichot is a leading producer of elegant Burgundy wines, and this Pouilly-Fuissé is no exception. We found it zesty, we notes of lemon and beeswax. Structured, with plenty of minerals and just a hint of residual sugar, making it an excellent choice to stand up to a creamy winter gratin. A lovely Chardonnay.

2006 Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Réserve ($18.99)

From Jacques Reynaud, the famed producer of Chateau Rayas in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, comes this impressive red. A blend with predominately Grenache, this wine has an initial herbaceous delicacy that explodes mid-palate to an incredible, length finish. It really sneaks up on you! If you love the bold wines of Chateauneuf, you’ve got to try this “baby Rayas.”

Cheese @ PG

Go for the goat.

Chabiquet. By Jacquin, genius of both cheese and fonts.

Chabiquet

Intensely yummy. This fresh chèvre is based on Chabichou cheeses of the Loire Valley. Its fluffy texture makes it a perfect goat cheese for crumbling into a salad. Subtly sweet, delicate notes of lemon, and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. $4.99 each

Bleu de Chèvre

It’s  a goat/brie/blue!  A soft-ripened blue cheese made with goat’s milk. Creamy, buttery, spreadable, and savory! $19.99/lb

Tomme Corse de Chèvre

This rustic tomme from Corsica shows off the flavor of the rough mountain diet of the goats. It has a semi-smooth and textured paste, a fiercely herbaceous flavor, and a wonderful chèvre tang on the finish. $31.99/lb

Craves @ PG

Funky Fallot Mustards

Tasty condiments in attractive packaging are some  of my favorite items in the shop because they’re both fun and practical. I think they make great add-on gifts for food lovers, and you’ll probably want to grab one for yourself while you’re at it. My favorite foods “en tube,” all pictured above: Le Cabanon Harissa, San Marzano Tomato Paste, and Jean Gui Anchovy Paste (get over it, it’s delicious). And Edmond Fallot dijon mustards are a classic; for a more unique flavor choice, consider walnut, blackcurrant, or tarragon.

Gifted @ PG

Stamp Your Way to Paris.

Yellow Owl Workshop makes beautiful handmade objects for an everyday bit of whimsical design. Their limited edition paper goods and stamp sets are playful and charming, featuring simple graphics and pops of color. We love the Paris Stamp Set—a larger stamp with a stylized depiction of the we-love-it-even-though-it’s-a-cliché Eiffel Tower and a smaller stamp depicting a cafe table and chairs, both housed in a sweet little cheesecloth bag. For 10 bucks, this has got to be our favorite Francophile stocking stuffer!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 11/21 Sunday, Nov 21 2010 

(Serving Suggestion.)

Wine @ PG

Here’s a recommended lineup of wines for the Thanksgiving meal, from bubbly to white to red. And there are so many more amazing options here at the shop: cremants, rosés, Burgundy, Bordeaux, dessert wines, and more.

Stephane Coquillette “Carte d’Or” Brut Champagne ($47)

This delicious Champagne is comprised of 60 % Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grapes, which are culled from the Grand Crus and Premier Crus of the harvest. Exhibits amazing complexity with notes of melon, berries, toast, and buttered brioche. A persistent finish and fine bubbles: a divine way to start off your feast!

2009 Frédéric Gueguen Petite Chablis ($16.99)

What a delicious wine! Very characteristic of what a Chablis should be: crisp, clean, and elegant. Aromas of tart green apples, toasted almonds, grass and a touch of minerality. This wine pairs well with a wide range of foods, making it our choice for an outstanding Thanksgiving white wine.

2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon ($24.99)

Marcel Lapierre was a renowned producer of Beaujolais wines, and his death this year marks a sad end to a vivacious man and a tireless advocate for biodynamic production and non-interventionist winemaking. His beloved Gamay grape gets its full expression in this vintage: Exuberant strawberry and red raspberry threaded with lilac, striking notes of blood orange rind, nutmeg, toasted pecan, blond tobacco, and subtle hints of game and forest floor. Silken in texture, sappy and pungent, this finishes with an exhilaratingly animated exchange of fruit, flower, and mineral elements and a sense of levity rare for its vintage.” 93 points Robert Parker

Meat @ PG

 

Pâté de Campagne

Pâté Provençal

Coarse yet spreadable, this pork pâté has bits of green olives and red pepper throughout. Flavorful, with plenty of herbs and spices. $14.99/lb

Pâté de Campagne

This country-style pork spread is coarsely textured and generously seasoned with black pepper. We like seeing who gets the carrot slice on top! $15.99/lb

Mousse Basquaise

Inspired by Basque flavors. Made with duck liver, roasted red bell peppers, and port wine. A bit of spice breaks up the creaminess of the mousse. $16.99/lb

Truffle Mousse

A delectable combination of chicken liver, truffles, and sherry. Savor with baguette and either a light Beaujolais or a sweet Sauternes. $18.99/lb

Duck Mousse with Port Wine

A savory, spreadable mousse made with duck liver, port wine, and spices. No artificial ingredients. Delicious! $20.99/lb

Goose Mousse Supreme

Made with goose and duck liver, and Sauternes. Set in aspic with oranges. One of our most popular mousses, this one is truly indulgent. $25.99/lb

And this just in: Fois Gras Mousse from D’Artagnan!

Craves @ PG

Syrups.

It’s the season of syrups. The distillation of fruit, flowers, or nuts into sugary liquid form, making everything sweeter and therefore better. We’ve got some fantastic options for adding flavor to your hot drinks, cocktails, whipped cream, and sweet treats. We have a wide range of Monin syrups, including grenadine, almond, caramel, and peppermint. Try maple spice or pumpkin spice to make a flavored whipped cream for pies and tarts. We also love L’Épicerie de Provence syrups. Cassis works for making celebratory Kir Royale cocktails, and we recommend Violet, Lavender or Chocolate Hazelnut in baked goods and candies.

Gifted @ PG

Le Souk Ceramique.

These brightly colored ceramics from Tunisia are all made and painted by hand. 100 percent food safe, and appropriate for use in the dishwasher and microwave. Above is the “Sauvage” pattern; we have over 6 patterns available in bowls, plates, mugs, teapots, and more. A beautiful tradition of craft making continues!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 9/30 Friday, Oct 1 2010 

While she's certainly learning a valuable skill, I suggest: let's be our own Sally Drapers.

Cocktails @ PG

The few flavors of bitters that we carried in the shop were in such demand that we decided to bring in the complete line of bitters from Fee Brothers. We don’t think the fun-at-home-with-cocktails trend is going anywhere (not with la Niña on the loose again this winter), and we’ve got some great ideas for how to try these bitters in your cocktails, along with our fantastic vermouths, aperitif wines, and garnishes.

These guys know their bitters.

Try all 8 Flavors!

Old Fashioned

For use in Manhattans and Champagne Cocktails.

Orange

Try a “Classic” Martini (2 oz gin and 1/2 oz dry vermouth, dash of orange bitters).

Mint

For use in Mojitos and Mint Juleps.

Grapefruit

An excellent match in cocktails based with Cynar or Campari.

Cherry

Sweeter than the other flavors, this will deliver pure fruitiness to brandy-based cocktails.

Lemon

Promises to add a “snappy citrus taste with a hint of lemongrass” to drinks. Yum.

Cranberry

This newest flavor may take some experimentation. We think its tartness may be an excellent counterpoint to gin.

Rhubarb

The internet has turned up some interesting ideas; they apparently work in cocktails featuring tequila. Here’s one from Portland mixologist Jacob Grier’s blog, Liquidity Preference.

Mexican Martinez

2.25 oz reposado tequila (Chamucos)
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 bar spoon maraschino
2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a slice of orange zest.

And finally, try Fee Brothers Orgeat Syrup (pronounced Or-SHOT): For use in Mai-Tais and Momisettes.

Dolin Vermouths

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation. Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. Excellent both as a mixer and as an apéritif. In Sweet, Dry, and Blanc. $13.99/each

Bonal

This aperitif wine is made from a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it on the rocks or to amp your classic Negroni cocktail.  $18.99/each

And don’t forget, a customer favorite:

Griottines

Famous throughout the world for their freshness and refined taste, these delicious Morello cherries have been pitted and prepared in a Kirsch liqueur. Add to desserts, aperitifs, and cocktails like the perfect Manhattan. We pack them out into 4-ounce containers so you get just the right amount.

Craves @ PG

Paysan Breton butter

I once enjoyed an extremely memorable dinner on a cold dark night in Brittany with an American, a Corsican, and our host, a Spaniard. Go figure. But our meal was very French and très Breton. Along with salmon and whiskey and individual tarts for dessert, the most life changing item on the table was a hunk of buttercup-yellow butter, chock full of crunchy sea salt crystals. We served it up on slice after slice of substantial loaf of rustic brown bread. This stuff slays me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Mini-Cocotte by Lissa Streeter

I don’t even know what more I need to say. Mini-cocottes could not be any cuter or more comforting. Recipes include Spinach Soufflés, Cherry Tomato Tatin, Cherry Raspberry Clafoutis, and Almond Milk Pudding.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 9/16 Friday, Sep 17 2010 

We predict red wine, with a chance of movie nights.

Wine @ PG

New to the shop: a cider that delivers pure apple goodness, and a sparkling rosé from an underrepresented region that totally charmed us.

Sidre Doux & Bugey Cerdon

2008 Eric Bordelet Sidre Doux ($13.99)

Eric Bordelet took over his family’s estate and orchards in 1992, and he is passionate about elevating the standards of cider production and bringing cider to the export market and restaurants. In addition, his ciders are produced organically and biodynamically. Although sweet in comparison with the Brut, off-dry would be the appropriate description for this bright and delightful sparkling apple cider. The Doux is produced from the same vats as the Brut, but a small amount of residual sugar is left in while the former is fermented dry, leaving just a touch a sweetness to round out the cider on the palate. At 4-percent alcohol, it’s a remarkable drink for aperitifs or light meals.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

Very fresh and zesty, this sparkling rosé from Savoie is a fabulous addition to just about any occasion. It’s made in the same process as artisanal cider, meaning only one fermentation as opposed to two fermentations, as is done with champagne and most cremants. 100-percent Gamay, it’s off-dry and unique, with flavors of cherry and ripe apple with a touch of sweetness. It has low alcohol (8-precent) and shows good minerality and acidity in the mouth, with fresh grape aromas in the nose. Really tasty and a pretty, delicate pink color in the glass.

We’ve also brought in two fantastic value wines for the transition to fall. We’re already craving stews and roasts and gratins, and we wanted to stock up on tasty bistro-style reds that we could reach for without too much thought. Get those ovens and stovetops working again, pour yourself a glass, and settle in for a rainy night.

Value Reds!

2009 Chateau La Croix du Duc Bordeaux ($9.99)

A blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has a soft texture with bright boysenberry and black cherry flavors. Smoky notes of chocolate and menthol provide punch and structure. This Bordeaux has terrific balance and a mineral finish, and it will stand up to hearty winter meals

2009 Mas de Boislauzon “La Chaussynette” Vin de France ($9.99)

The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussey are the sixth generation to run the esteemed Mas de Boislauzon estate. They’ve continued to build their reputation with superlative Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhone wines. La Chausseynette is essentially declassified Chateauneuf, made with a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. It’s bright and juicy, with lively notes of blackcurrant and blackberry and a peppery, spicy finish. A red to reach for all season.

And finally: we still have some bottles left of our favorite Summer Swiller: the 2009 Abel Clement Rhone Rosé ($7.99). It’s fresh and light on the palate, with notes of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. Perfect for a meal of pasta with late-summer tomatoes. Get it while it lasts!

Craves @ PG

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spreads Line Up For Battle

It’s the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread Wars of 2010! Who will emerge victorious: Nutella, Noisette+Cacao, Nocciolata, or Loacker ?  To the victor go the spreads.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

The French Country Table by Laura Washburn

This is exactly what we’re looking for in these suddenly cold, grey days. A winter’s worth of perfectly simple-to-execute bistro dishes, ranging from soups to meat to gratins to dessert. These are the recipes you’ve always meant to work into your repetoire: cassoulet, ratatouille, tartiflette, gratin dauphinois. Hopefully you’ll still be hungry by the holidays, because the Chocolate Chestnut Tarte would be the perfect merry sweet. Also, the photography by Martin Brigdale is enough to make you chuck your fancy flatware sets and all-white plates for  mismatched antiques and vintage tableware.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 8/5 Friday, Aug 6 2010 

Don't let this happen to you. We've got all your mustard needs covered.

News @ PG
A nice “spread” about the shop in Seattle Met
We’re thrilled to be included in Seattle Met’s “Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle” issue. They took a cool shot of some of our mustards, which is fitting because this Saturday, August 7, is National Mustard Day (I know, you already had it marked on your calendars). Here’s a quick list of the many, many flavors of mustard we have available:
Dijon
Whole Grain
Green Peppercorn
Walnut
Honey & Balsamic
Basil
Tarragon
Provence Herbs
Blackcurrant
Grape Must
Truffle
Fig
Cognac
“Pompiers” aka Hot Pepper

We’re still on the hunt for pastis mustard. But this ought to keep your charcuterie plates and sandwiches busy for awhile!

Wine @ PG

Last week we talked about the wines everybody hypes, wines with caché. It only seemed fair that this week we let the spotlight turn to the best wines you’ve never heard of. Since it seems that everybody is having a birthday this month, this is a great way to give a gift that stands out from all the other presents. Not that gift giving is a competition (ok, sometimes a little bit). No, but seriously, who doesn’t love the thrill of surprise? Here’s your chance to give someone the wine they never knew they always wanted.

2008 Domaine Castera Jurançon Sec ($16.99)
This dry and lively white from Southwestern France is made from two native Basque varieties- Gros Manseng (95%) and Petit Manseng (5%)- and aged on the lees. This grape has a storied past in France: it is rumored that the lips of King Henry the IV were rubbed with Jurançon, and Colette claimed, ” I was a girl when I met this prince; aroused, imperious, treacherous, as all great seducers are.” We certainly have been seduced by its aromatic, refreshing qualities and lovely body. Bright and tangy, with green apple, tropical fruit and limestone notes; try with scallops in a light cream sauce!

2009 Domaine Schoffit Alsace Veilles Vignes Chasselas ($21.99)
Chasselas is the grape of 100 names. The obscure Swiss varietal is grown in only a handful of countries, and each country has its own name (or names) for it. In Alsace, it is often blended with the better known Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Blanc. But under Schoffit’s guidance and his 80-year old vines, this white grape shines on its own. Racy, but with soft floral and honeyed notes; incredibly bright and refreshing despite the concentrated flavors and slight richness on the palate. We oohed and aahed as we tasted it and immediately placed an order.

2007 Tissot “Singulier” Arbois Trousseau ($34.99)
Nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland lies the Jura, France’s most exciting wine region. To say that it’s exciting because it is up-and-coming would be inaccurate. It is one of the oldest regions of wine-making, and there’s no sign of traditions being abandoned. The wines produced here, from vaguely sherry-like vin jaune to light bodied reds, are made from grapes unheard of. They remain some of the world’s most distinctive wines literally unlike any other in the world. They are described as “geeky” and “unique”. But we love them because they are incredible food wines. Being situated along the Jura mountains, the climate is cool, much like in Alsace, even though the soil is much like Burgundy’s. The elevation and climate is excellent for preserving the grapes’s natural acidity, and the resulting wines are agile, savory, with an impeccable array of flavors. We brought in a 100% Trousseau, from Arbois, one of the sub-apellations in the region which produces mostly reds and rosés. The wine is quite light-colored, but the low yields ensured a concentrated, complex bouquet of aromas. Earthy forest notes, red fruit, and blueberries with pepper notes. Amazing with steak and sautéed mushrooms.

For more information about this wine region, click here or here for articles.

2005 Chateau Montus Madiran ($37.99)
Madiran is a tiny appellation in Southwest France, where the deeply colored, tannic grape Tannat is grown. It yields strident wines that are perfect with grilled and gamey meats. The Chateau Montus is one of the best wine from Madiran. The blend of Tannat (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) is made by Alain Brumont. It is a lusty wine, its inky color suggesting the richness on the palate and the nose. Aromas of toasty blackberries, leather, and oak make a complex and deep bouquet. The wine is firm, with well-integrated flavors of blackberry, raspberry, smoke, and clove. The finish is superb, lengthy and flavorful. It is powerful without being harsh or unduly tannic. This wine will cellar for several more years. Lovers of Bandol and Cabernet Sauvignon should definitely try it!

Meat @ PG
Not even a little bit “boar”ing.
In the oak forests (“la dehesa”) of Western Spain, Iberian pigs roam and sleep and feast on acorns. The black-hoofed descendants of an indigenous breed of wild boar, these pigs are specially cared for and catered to before their sacrifice (as the Spaniards have it): they are destined to become the superlative Ibérico de Bellota.

Yeah, they pretty much have better lives than we do.

This has only been available in the States for a number of years, and it’s definitely rare and pricey- but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring it to you. This richly marbled pork loin is infused with the flavor of acorns, their favorite food, and it has an inimitable rich and nutty flavor and a tender texture to die for. This is jamón heaven.
Lomo Ibérico de Bellota
Sliced to order. $91.99/lb – $22.99/quarter lb

Craves @ PG

Ficoco

Ficoco. Say it out loud- it’s fun. It’s also delicious- a fat-free spread from Croatia made with figs, pure cane sugar, and cocoa. From the famous Dalmatia brand of fig jams. Ficoco.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Down and Out in Paris and London

I was assigned to read this book while a student in Paris, and it gave me something to relate to (I also know how to nurse the same cup of café for hours without attracting ire) but also some much needed perspective. It’s a bleakly humorous and soulful portrait of poverty, told through the adventures of a young writer who has found himself truly “down and out.” A somewhat lesser-known gem from Orwell.

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