March 15 Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Paris Grocery News
March 15th, 2012

We got a lot of new products in over the last week, so come in to check them all out! I could only pick out a few favorites to share this week though. Without further ado:

 

Chateau Haut-Mongeat Graves de Vayres Blanc 2010

40% Semillon, 40% Muscadelle, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Light gold in color, this delicious blend is fresh and lively with a palate-cleansing, racy acidity and bright, ripe fruit. The bouquet is highly aromatic with abundant notes of apple, pear, pineapple, and flowers. Drink it as an aperitif or serve with almost any seafood, pork, or chicken. Excellent with spicy dishes! $10.99

Chateau D’Arlay NV Macvin du Jura Rouge

A wine-geek’s wine, Macvin expands our understanding of wine in general and is a fascinating, adventurous treat. One third brandy and two thirds Pinot Noir grape must, this Macvin is held 4 years in casks and one year in old oak before being released. The result is curious, rich, layered dessert wine with plenty of spice. It reveals huge intensity along with some sweetness and glycerin from its red liqueur, with some slight peppermint notes as well. 95 points, Wine Advocate $21.99 350 ml

Tirecul la Graviere Monbazillac 2007 Les Pins

“Tirecul la Graviere is recognized as the top property of the [Monbazillac] AOC. The fame of Chateau Tirecul la Graviere has spread far and wide over the last several years. Most notably, Robert Parker has awarded the property two 100 point scores and compared it with Sauterne’s Chateau d’Yquem. With good acidity and a solid backbone, these wines can last for decades, a rarity in wines from this area of Southwest France. These wines are magical, defining examples of the best that Monbazillac can offer. 80% Semillon, 20% Muscadelle botrytized grapes grown in chalky soil, seeing some French oak. $19.99 500 ml

2009 La Granacha Vielles Vignes

The 2009 La Granacha is made from 100% old vine Grenache (some parcels are nearly 100 years old). Also aged in tank before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, this is the most powerful La Granacha yet made, tipping the scales at nearly 16% natural alcohol. The belief that such a powerful wine can not also be elegant is disproved by the precise, fresh, lively kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with tobacco leaf, loamy soil, and forest floor characteristics. This delicious, deep ruby/plum-colored, round, generous, glycerin-filled wine can be enjoyed over the next several years. 90 points Wine Advocate $14.99

2010 Andezon Cotes du Rhone

The classic cuvee, which has long been selected by importer Eric Solomon, is their 2010 Domaine d’Andezon, a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. While there are critics of Syrah grown in the southern Rhone, even the cynics agree that the old-vine Syrah from the Gard has a special character to it. This wine comes from 40+-year-old Syrah vines and 60+-year-old Grenache vines, bottled unfined and unfiltered after being aged in both tank and concrete. Dense ruby/purple, with a stunning nose of blackberry liqueur and jus de viande (beef/meat juices), its thrilling, intensely pure, full-bodied mouthfeel, good freshness, and striking floral character all combine for one of the very best bargains in dry red wine that readers are likely to find anywhere in the world. 91 points Wine Advocate $14.99

2010 Domaine de Fees

The newest cuvee is from a single estate, located just to the west of Lirac, called Domaine des Fees. Bottled separately, there are 1,000 cases for the US market and this blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, aged completely in concrete tanks, is stunning. Gorgeous notes of roasted meats, Provencal herbs, sweet black cherry liqueur, and licorice as well as spice jump from the glass of this dense, ruby/purple-tinged wine. Fresh, full-bodied and juicy, with a velvety texture, it is a beauty that would be best drunk over the next 3-4 years. Think of it as a Chateauneuf du Pape wearing a Cotes du Rhone mask.90 points Wine Advocate 

$14.99

Cheeses

 

Brillat Savarin

Nirvana on a cracker! One of the most decadent cheeses you will ever eat, Brillat Savarin aux truffles is named after the so-called “Father of Modern Cooking.” The decadently creamy texture and milky flavor of this fresh cheese pairs beautifully with the earthy and aromatic black truffles. Definitely a cheese to share with friends! Try it with buttery crackers for a savory snack or paired with fruit for an over-the-top dessert. $46.99

Montealva

Montealva is a semi-soft pastuerized goat cheese form Cadiz. Like Amercian goat cheeses Montealva is creamy, but has more of a moist chalky texture on the pallete. The mild slightly piquant goat tang translates into vibrant lemon tones and a lasting citrus finish. $20.99

Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fleur de Sel

This charming chocolate fondue is a mixture of 70% dark chocolate and fleur de sel, adding a little kick to a favorite dessert. The ceramic cup is microwaveable, or it can be heated in a double broiler. Either way, use it to dip your favorite fruits and cookies and see what a little fleur de sel adds to a sweet treat! $22.99

We’ve always loved and carried Traou Mad de Pont Aven cookies from Brittany. Made with salted butter, these thick biscuits are supremely dunk-worthy. But in honor of the Gauguin exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, we’ve brought in these adorable Gauguin tins of cookies. Stop by the Paris Grocery after seeing the masterpieces and pick up a tasty souvenir! $13.99 each

Pan Ducale Bastoncini Biscotti-Cantuccini. I opened these biscotti today for purely scientific purposes, and half the box was gone by noon. The same fate befell all the biscotti pictured above. Seriously addicting, these biscotti have the right balance of crunch and crumble to hold up by themselves or go with your morning coffee. Available in almond or chocolate-hazelnut. $6.24 each.

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook! Archives of this newsletter and other articles can be found on our blog.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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A taste of Morocco Wednesday, Jan 25 2012 

Paris Grocery News
January 25th, 2011

Have you missed us?We hope you all survived the great snow storm of 2012 and have been keeping warm. It’s certainly a time for hot food and good company. With the holidays past, I’ve had most of my ‘home favorites’ and am ready to branch out and try something new. It’s a new year, and time for explorations! This week, I headed to North Africa for inspiration and am attempting to cook a Chicken Bastilla

Warm, flakey pastry filled with the unorthodox but outstanding combination of chicken (traditionally pigeon but who has time to go pigeon trapping these days?), blanched almonds($7.99/lb), Moroccan spices, orange blossom water ($5.99) and powdered sugar. Warca, also known as Feuille de Brique ($4.29), is the secret to the puffed, airy layers that bring a lightness to the otherwise extremely rich, nutty and spicy dish. !

For lunch, pair the Bastilla with our new signature Paris Grocery Moroccan mint tea ~$2.00/16 oz

For dinner, pair it with the 2009 Alain Graillot Syrocco ‘Zenata’ $19.99

This 100% Syrah possesses lots of soft, jammy, berry fruit, licorice, pepper and meaty notes. Tasty, plump, and altogether hedonistic, this wine is ideal for drinking over the next several years.

Of course, we’ve got to rave about a few more wine at PG this week, as long as we’ve got your ear:

2010 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Vielles Vignes $15.99

“Wow, is this an exciting wine! A custom cuvee put together by importer Eric Solomon along with the brilliant oenologist Philippe Cambie and Costieres de Nimes’ up-and-coming superstar, Michel Gassier, this blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah (and there are 5,000 cases for the US) comes from the 70- to 80-year-old Grenache vines on the plateau of Domazan to the south of Chateauneuf du Pape. This sensational wine tastes more like Chateauneuf du Pape than just about any Cotes du Rhone one is likely to find. It is also another example of what looks to be another great vintage emerging from the southern Rhone – 2010. This is one of the greatest Cotes du Rhones I have ever tasted – wonderfully intense, deep ruby with some purple tinges, with a stunning nose of black raspberry liqueur intermixed with sweet cherries, licorice, pepper and Provencal lavender. Round, generous, opulent and heady, this fabulously intense, hedonistic wine should be drunk over the next 3-4 years. Bravo!” 93 points Wine Advocate

Georges Duboef Macon-Villages Chardonnay 2009 $9.99

This 100% chardonnay from Burgundy is un-oaked, making it fresh and floral with a beautiful nose. bright fruits are balanced by almond and a minerality that carries the lengthy finish. It’s a real treat at this price.

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook! Archives of this newsletter and other articles can be found on our blog.

Thanks for reading, stay warm, and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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!

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!Ellen
and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
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About Us

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

September 23rd Sunday, Sep 25 2011 

Paris Grocery News
September 23, 2011
September 25th is our two year anniversary, can you believe it? To those of you who have been with us from the start, a special thank you! It’s also an exciting week because we just received our copy of Food and Wine Magazine for October 2011, and the Paris Grocery is featured on a national list of best places to buy French wine. Check us out on page 106. To celebrate both occasions, we’re transitioning from our summer rosé six pack special to a fall red six pack. Take a tour through France with this grab-and-go six pack, and keep our Paris grocery reusable wine tote bag as a souvenir! Six tasty reds include wines from Bordeaux, Rhone, Cahors, and the Loire Valley, with a selection of different varietals. It’s a great way to jump-start the fall season and try some new wines! $58.00 includes sales tax.

 

Also this week we were nearly overwhelmed with two huge shipments, mainly of the glorious meaty and cheesy variety.

 

Take a long look at the brilliant, decadent little amuse-bouches above. Sweet, dark prunes soaked in armagnac (a distinctive brandy from gascony) and stuffed with foie gras. They’re called french kisses, and are a total knock-out. With such intense sultry flavor, these are the perfect size to get a mouthful that lingers on the palate. $15.49 for a set of six or $2.99 each.

Uncured Smoked Duck Bacon.

Yes, it’s back! a fresh batch of duck bacon. Made from moulard duck breast, this unique bacon can be enjoyed on its own for breakfast, or can be used to enhance other dishes. Try it on a salad, in a pasta, with haricot vert, or any other place you would normally use bacon to bring a richer flavor to the table. Or for a muskier, wilder flavor, try our wild boar bacon! duck bacon-$16.49, wild boar bacon- $9.49.

Foie Gras Mousse

Buttery texture, sumptuous flavor, this foie gras is perfectly fatty and perfectly fresh. light and creamy with a hint of good Sauternes wine added to the baked terrine to enhance the luxurious taste of the foie gras .Whether you want to spread it on baguette or, as many chefs are doing these days, try pan frying it, you’re in for a real treat.

But we’ll save some meats to talk about next week. In the meantime, we have two amazing cheese specials. We accidently ordered too much of two great soft cheeses, so we’re pricing them to move quickly. Our mistake is your windfall!

Purple Haze Cyprus Grove Chevre (left)

This is a beautiful soft goat’s cheese from California. The unexpected marriage of lavender and wild fennel pollen distinguishes Purple Haze and makes it utterly addictive. Delicate and sophisticated, this cheese is the winner of Best of Show, California State Fair Cheese Competition, 2009 and Best of Class, U.S. Cheese Championship 2011. I’ve eaten two of them already. You won’t find a price like this anywhere else. $1.99
Smoked Mozzarella (right)

The smoky outer layers of this cheese peel back to a sweet, soft center. This is a great little cheese for snacking on, and is perfect for kids or others who don’t appreciate your pungent gooey bleus or camembert. Melt it over mushrooms or asparagus for a perfect pairing of earthy and smoky flavors. Again, a steal at just $1.99!

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

Colonial influences on French flavor, September 9th Friday, Sep 9 2011 

Paris Grocery News

September 9, 2011

French culture is often prized for its unique characteristics, and for centuries it has been a pinnacle of style and taste. While the influence of French culture cannot be overstated, part of that wonderful je ne se quoi comes from the influence of other cultures upon the French. From Viet Nam to Tunisia, Morocco to Algiers, the French Empire adopted and was influenced by aspects of each of the peoples it colonized. The result is an incredibly rich and varied french palate, a mosaic culture full of nuance and surprise. This week, we pay homage to the fantastic diversity of French culture by showcasing a few of our products that are undeniably French, yet undeniably exotic.

click on the picture for some information/inspiration!

Feuille de brick

Just in this week, we have White Toque Feuille de brick, ‘the finest and crispiest of them all’. Originally from Tunisia, brick pastry dough is impossibly light and flaky, and used for both sweet and savory appetizers and desserts, baked or fried. There are 10 sheets (12″ diameter) in each frozen package, so keep some around for the next time you entertain. They’re a real crowd pleaser. $4.49

Red Boat Fish Sauce

At least once a week we get a call asking if we carry Red Boat Fish Sauce. It’s simply the best fish sauce on the market, an essential ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. Western chefs have embraced fish sauce as a go-to ingredient that draws out a dish’s own flavors and adds a special complexity of taste. Red Boat is an artisan fish sauce that has had people raving. Read up on it here, or here, then come in and try some for yourself! 250 ml bottles are $4.99

Le Souk Tagines

Ghille Basan defines the Tagine as a ‘stew worthy of poetry’ in his book on the subject (which we do carry for $15.99). Tagines are truly an art, and are a meal inseparable from the beautiful container they are made in and served from. The conical shape allows steam to circulate inside during cooking, preserving tender flavors. We sell a few different styles of Tagine, so whether you’re a beginner or a professional you can appreciate the succulent and aromatic spice of Morrocco. From Le Souk we carry clay cooking tagines in small and large sizes, as well as hand painted ceramic serving tagines that are drop-dead gorgeous. $40.00-$60.00

Emile Henry Tagines

But for the true marriage of French and North African cooking, no Tagine can compare with Emile Henry’s Poterie Culinaire. The Burgundy Clay that Emile Henry uses is slowly disperses heat, can be put on direct flame, under a broiler, in the microwave and in the dishwasher. Emile Henry offers the highest quality products, and they guarantee their Tagines with a limited 10 year warranty. A beautiful investment or gift for someone who loves to cook. We have them in two sizes and four colors. $126.00

And of course, the drinks (As a side note, today’s ‘french phrase’ from our one-a-day calendar is “ça l’aide à se détendre” or ‘it helps him to relax’. We thought it was appropriate)!

2009 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-pape $55.00

Bright ruby. Spicy strawberry and raspberry aromas are lifted by a floral element and a hint of black tea. Fresh and precise, accented by silky texture and good breadth. Finishes firm and persistent, with attractive fruit and a slight dryness. this 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape has outstanding depth of dark fruit, and will be perfect to drink starting in November. What a wonderful investment for the holiday season.

2009 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Villages $16.99

The 2009 Cercius red, a Visan Cotes du Rhone-Villages, is composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah. It represents a naked expression of Cotes du Rhone as it is aged completely in concrete prior to bottling. This medium to full-bodied wine possesses a deep ruby/purple color in addition to copious black currant and black cherry fruit interwoven with graphite, crushed rocks, and spice, excellent fruit intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, good acidity, and light tannins. It should drink nicely for 3-4 years.

Clos Normand Brut French Fermented Cider $6.99

If you’ve ever been curious about French Cider, Clos Normand is a great introduction. If you’re already a fan, than Clos Normand is an old favorite. With crisp red apple notes and a hint of fresh bread, this is an inviting and uncomplicated cider sure to please just about anyone.

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
A wine and cheese shop with a french mood

1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.0679

Monday-Saturday
10 to 6
Sunday
11 to 5

Paris Grocery News 5/7 Saturday, May 7 2011 

Consider a box of unique cookies for Mom. Fossier's Biscuits Roses are best when dunked in Champagne, which is so fancy it's almost unbearable.

Gifts @ PG

We love Mother’s Day; it’s a chance to celebrate any mother or mother-figure in your life. We’ve got so many gifts and sweets and snacks that would make a terrific gift for Mom, it’s ridiculous.

Until a shop in Seattle makes decent macarons, consider making your own!

I Heart Macarons by Hisako Ogita is full of charming, colorful pictures as well as specific technical instruction for making macarons. Our book section is bursting with cookbooks, France-located fiction, and wish-fulfillment nonfiction about living in France.

Everyone needs tiny footed dishes.

Victoriana Noir Footed Dishes by Rosanna are great for mustard, chocolates, or spare change. We also carry teapots, plates, and mugs from this local designer who specializes in sophisticated whimsy.

We’d also be glad to help you put together a collection of sweet and savory foodstuffs: jams, mustards, olives, vinegars, cookies, and more. Happy Mother’s Day!

Wines @ PG

A rebel's last yell, my favorite pink, and an exceptional Cab Franc.

2010 Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Gamay

Marcel Lapierre was a renowned producer of Beaujolais wines, and his death last year marked a sad end to a vivacious man and a tireless advocate for biodynamic production and non-interventionist winemaking. He was one of the “Gang of Four” rebel winemakers in Beaujolais, a group of vitners dedicated to making natural, delicious wines and bucking convention and appellation when necessary. Despite his disregard for the system, Marcel was one of the most respected producers in France. His Raisins Gaulois Gamay is absolutely charming, grapey, and fresh, with spicy black cherry notes and a little dustiness. Though not an “official” Beaujolais, it shows how great these light-hearted wines can be. We’ve brought in three cases of this delicious wine—it’s not to be missed!

2010 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris

This remains one of my absolute favorite rosés, over several vintages. It’s a unique “Gris de Gris” that’s made from both Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris, along with a few other southern French varietals. Bruno Laboucarié show the same care with his rosé as with his red wine, harvesting by hand and pressing whole clusters of grapes to preserve their delicate aromas. Incredibly fresh, with zippy strawberry notes and superb minerality. This will make a superb accompaniment to olives, grilled shrimp, and other savory snacks common in Corbières. Bring on the sunshine!

2009 Catherine & Pierre Breton Chinon

Imported by Kermit Lynch, who knows a thing or two about funky, interesting wines. We’re big fans of this producer, as well—their unique, terroir-driven wines are a hit on the bistro scene in Paris. This Cabernet Franc is full of dark fruit and savory, olive notes, with mostly smooth tannins. Check out what Kermit Lynch had to say about the Bretons.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/15 Friday, Apr 15 2011 

A cheesemonger's wedding cake.

Cheese @ PG

We’ve brought in some specially-priced wheels of our favorite cheeses.

Fleur Verte

Absolutely one of our best-selling cheeses, now at 5 dollars less a pound. This fresh goat cheese from Périgord is adorned with thyme, tarragon, and pink peppercorns, and it has a dense and cake-like texture. The flavors are lemony and boldly herbaceous. A beautiful cheese to look at and to eat—I call it the “wedding cake” of cheeses. ($24.99/lb)

Chistou: du vache et du brebis.

Chistou

Istara is well-known for their sheep’s milk cheeses from the Basque region. This one’s fun for being a mix of 50-percent sheep’s milk and 50-percent cow’s milk. It’s semi-hard, with a creamy texture. We found it slightly piquant, with equal notes of grassiness and nuttiness. ($15.99/lb)

Tomme de Savoie

A cow’s milk cheese from the mountainous Savoie with a distinctly raw milk flavor: beefy, hazelnutty, and pleasantly milky. With about 30-percent fat content, this is the most creamy “low fat” cheese out there. Enjoy with liver-stoked pâtés and light red wines such as Beaujolais. ($9.99/lb)

Can't go wrong with Camembert.

Camembert le Pommier

Earthy, buttery, and aromatic, this classic cheese from Normandy has a tender crust that crumbles when spread. Small production, high quality milk from family farmers, and superior ripening by affineur Herve Mons make this a superior Camembert to the many mass-market varieties out there. ($7.99/each)

Books @ PG

Two of my favorites from our latest shipment of new releases and new sale books.

Patricia Wells: food legend and cookbook factory.

Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells

After a long winter of hot, fill-me-up dishes, a Big Salad for a meal sounds just about right. There’s a lot going on in this book beyond the obligatory frisée aux lardons recipe; I spot influences from specific French regions, Europe, Asia, and California spa cuisine. There are plenty of meat and seafood-based recipes, along with a few soups, starters, and even a section on bread and other accompaniments. And I have a weakness for cookbooks that don’t skimp on the colorful photos—I often copy the gorgeous plating ideas, even if I’m just cooking for one!

Adam Gopnik: If Molière had been born in Philly.

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, author of the New Yorker‘s “Paris Journal” from 1995-2000. One of my absolute favorite books, and certainly one of the most wry and tender books on living in Paris (in a crowded and sometimes mediocre field of rosy-hued memoirs). Brand new, but only $9.99!

“The chronicle of an American writer’s lifelong infatuation with Paris is also an extended meditation—in turn hilarious and deeply moving—on the threat of globalization, the art of parenting, and the civilizing intimacy of family life. Gopnik’s insights are infused with a formidable cultural intelligence, and his prose is as pellucid as that of any essayist. A brilliant, exhilarating book.”  —Francine du Plessix Gray

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 1/29 Saturday, Jan 29 2011 

The milk of Tarine cows is used to make luscious Alpine cheeses, such as Beaufort, which is our choice when making French onion soup! Picture from Olive White Photography.

Food (& Cheese!) @ PG

“The onion is the truffle of the poor.”

French Onion Soup (Adapted from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells)

I find this version one of the lightest onion soups I’ve tried; perhaps it’s because the onions are roasted first. Be sure to use good white sweet onions (yellow onions can turn bitter). If this is likely to become a family favorite, it’s worthwhile to invest in traditional onion soup bowls. Makes 2 servings.

1 very large (1 pound) white onion (such as Bermuda), thinly sliced

10 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dry sherry

32 oz unsalted chicken stock, preferably homemade

2-4 slices crusty baguette

2 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Beaufort cheese

1. Heat olive oil and butter in large sauté pan. When butter has melted, add onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook slowly over very low heat for at least 30 minutes until onion is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the sherry, turn the heat to high, and simmer for a few minutes until most of the sherry has been absorbed.

2. Turn on oven broiler. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large nonreactive saucepan.

3. Evenly distribute the cooked onions between 2 soup bowls. Pour in the simmering stock. Place a round or two of bread on top of each; evenly distribute the grated cheese. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil just until the cheese is melted (2 or 3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Wine @ PG

Yay, wine!

St. Cosme Little James’ Basket Press Rouge NV ($12.99)

Another example of a high-end producer (in this case, Louis Barroul, a 14th generation producer of Gigondas) making a delightful low-end wine that we can’t resist. This 100% Grenache is made using the solera system; it’s bright and juicy with moderate tannins. A great, easy-drinking wine!

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie “Cuvee Alouette” Bourgueil 2009 ($14.99)

Another example of a supremely drinkable 100% Cabernet Franc. This Bourgueil exhibits pure fruit flavors, with a delicious earthiness. Low tannins make it quaffable but it still offers great length and power.

2008 Philippe Raimbault “Apud Sariacum” Sancerre ($22.99)

There is no more beautiful expression of Sauvignon Blanc than the wines of Sancerre. The cool climate, chalky soil, and passion of the small producers bring this grape to the height of its aromatic, austere elegance. Philippe Raimbault, a ninth-generation producer, puts enormous care into his small family of wines. This Sancerre has flavors of limestone, crushed rocks, and a heady, enticing florality that is nevertheless retrained. An excellent, refreshing texture for a pure finish.

Craves @ PG

Gratin bowls

We love ceramics from Graupera; the Spanish Table offers many of their pots, tagines, and casserole dishes large and small. New to Paris Grocery are these stout soup bowls ($11.99), perfect for individual servings of French onion soup. The quality of the glazes and materials means they’ll stand up to heating, dishwashing, and even microwaving for many years to come; we also love how these ceramics tend to look better with a bit of use (we think food even TASTES better when cooked in well-used ceramics).

Gifted @ PG

Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells

This week’s recipe came from this classic, easy-to-follow book of bistro favorites by Patricia Wells. She’s an incredible authority on French cuisine, and this book offers up some choice bistro-culture knowledge as well. I want to try Oxtail Terrine (pg. 125), Leek Terrine with Truffles (pg. 82), and Zucchini Crepes (pg. 92). Her recipe for Riz au Lait (pg. 250) looks promising, as well; it calls for orange and lemon zest which always makes things taste better.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 1/21 Friday, Jan 21 2011 

 

Wine decanter.

Wine @ PG

New to the shop: Wine accoutrements (seems to be the right word) for those of you who want to get the most out of your Champagnes and Bordeaux.

Stoppers and openers.

From True:

  • Wine decanter: a classic Italian design made with hand-blown, lead-free glass. The broad base of the decanter allows particularly heady red wines to aerate and open up (that means it’ll taste better). ($29.99)
  • Champagne cork remover: helps ease the cork out of high-pressure sparklers so you get the best presentation of bubbles. ($11.99)
  • Champagne stoppers: the stainless steel and silicone stopper offers a super-snug fit and a nice design. ($9.99); the cheaper chrome and rubber stopper works well, too ($4.99). I love being able to keep a bottle of sparkling fresh for days.

Vinturi wine aerator.

From Vinturi:

  • Wine aerator: Nothing worse than waiting for a wine to optimize. Our wine buyer, Sharon, swears by this very cool gizmo. Simply hold the aerator over your glass and pour; its design attracts and mixes air to the wine, so you get more intensity from the aroma and flavors of the wine. ($38)

From Private Reserve:

  • Wine preserver: A environmentally safe bottle of inert gas that blankets the wine’s surface and displaces oxygen, maintaining its freshness and flavor. Works for not only wine but also things like scotch, cognac, and port. ($10.50)

Craves @ PG

Roland anchovies.

The other night I went out to dinner at Cascina Spinasse on Capitol Hill, and the kitchen sent out an amuse-bouche that was utterly perfect: a slice of toasty bread smeared liberally with butter and an anchovy fillet. Savory, crunchy, and creamy, all at the same time. I’m so glad to see anchovies making such inroads into the culinary scene; it seems like they’re on every menu these days! We have lots of options for anchovies, in cans and jars. But the customer favorite seems to be these Roland brand anchovies in the flip-top glass jar. Packed in olive oil, these are ready to be added to salads, pasta, flatbread pizzas, or crostini. I think there is some interest in reusing the cool jar, as well. And: They’re good for you!

Gifted @ PG

Tagine and cookbook.

This week’s idea would make an excellent gift anytime of the year, but as a Valentine’s Day gift, it’s a unique choice for someone who likes to cook. We have these colorful tagines ($40) from Le Souk Ceramique in a wide range of colors (green, yellow, red, white, and blue), as well as simple glazed terra cotta. They are a fantastic addition to a cookware arsenal, and they’re also really pretty as objects. I’d suggest getting this excellent cookbook as well; many people who first start cooking with tagines need good ideas. “Flavors of Morocco” by Ghillie Bașan ($24.95) is simply laid out and full of bright, tantalizing pictures. Along with the classic meat and seafood tagine dishes, there are recipes for simple things like making your own harissa or bissara (a garlicky fava bean dip). She also includes background and stories for the recipes and traditions of Moroccan cooking, including instructions for a mint tea service. Finally, it might also be fun to toss in a jar of preserved lemons or ras-el-hanout, the typical spice mix for tagines.

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 10/9 Sunday, Oct 10 2010 

We love you, Cab Francs. No matter what they say.

Wine @ PG

This week we’re featuring some fantastic values in Loire Valley reds. These are all 100 percent Cabernet Franc, a grape that is quite popular in France, especially in the Loire Valley, but is better known stateside as a grape used in blends, particularly those from Bordeaux. Depending on production practices, the grape can produce fruitier or more herbal/vegetative flavors than other varietals. It’s also noted for a certain floral quality, especially violets. Some palates, unused to these qualities, may find themselves off-put by a Cab Franc wine, but we think they’re worth getting to know better. They are typically medium-bodied and easy to drink , but with a cerebral, what-is-that-exactly quality. And at  these prices, you can’t go wrong.

Sables Blonds Touraine Rouge 2009 ($9.99)

This Cabernet Franc is loaded with minerals and notes of earth and dark berries. It’s juicy and lightly tannic: perfect for flank steak. We liked this wine so much that we brought in a case of it to compete with our larger buys of Côtes du Rhone and Bordeaux; like those more typical options, this is one to grab for any simple cold-weather dish.

Saumur Rouge “Les Epinats” 2009 ($9.99)

This Cab Franc uses grapes from a single vineyard that is abundant with silex, giving the wine a dense backbone of minerality. A lovely transparent ruby color in the glass, with delicate aromas of violets. Bright and lively on the palate, with a hint of cherries and licorice. Just enough grip and a supremely balanced finish:  this wine really offers bang for your buck.

Bourgueil  Rouge “Beauregard” 2009 ($10.99)

We tasted this directly after the Saumur, and while it had some similarities in terms of texture, its flavors were slightly more complex. Dark notes of blackberry brush up against something like pencil shavings. Bourgueil is known for being a bit more rustic than its neighbor Chinon, but we sort of like that: this wine really sings when paired with the right foods. The bright acidity and herbal notes of tarragon make it a natural with lamb sausages.

Cheese @ PG

Rogue River Blue

This cow’s milk cheese from Sonoma is aged for one year in “Roquefort-like” caves. It has vibrant hints of hazelnuts and sweet pine, with a clean, woodsy finish. Each wheel is wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in pear brandy, giving the cheese a supremely creamy texture.

$38.99/lb

$9.75/quarter lb

Fleur d’Aunis

This washed rind semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Charentes-Poitou is rich, creamy, and slightly nutty. The rind is brushed with Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made with Cognac. A easy cheese for snacking, with just enough complexity.

$15.99/lb

$3.99/quarter lb

Folie Bergere

A fresh goat cheese from Belgium with a savory coating of herbs. The dense texture is similar to a dry ricotta, and it has a less mild tang than other chèvres. Earthy and delicious!

$32.99/lb

$8.25/quarter lb

Back in stock: we have fresh wheels of Morbier (the washed rind classic with a center line of ash), Cantalet Dore (the “French cheddar” that’s so good with apples), and Gabietou (the dreamy cow’s and sheep’s milk cheese created by Herve Mons).

Craves @ PG

Candied Orange Peel Strips

Imported from France, these have a fantastic balance of sweet and tangy flavors and a delightfully toothsome texture. Packed in a touch of syrup to retain moisture and freshness. In addition to myriad baking and confectionary uses, candied orange peel strips make a fantastic accompaniment to cheese or dark chocolate. People have also been known to just eat them, one by one, until they are all gone: but these tales may just be the stuff of sweet tooth legend.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

This attractive and rather huge book promises over 300 recipes from Greenspan’s classic “French dinner table” repertoire . The book is organized extremely well, with nibbles, vegetables, and desserts getting just as much attention as beef, chicken, and seafood. The recipes are surprisingly simple. In fact, Julie Child once told Greenspan,  “You write recipes just the way I do.” High praise from a true master!

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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