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.

Paris Grocery News 5/6 Thursday, May 6 2010 

By any other name

My mother has had many gardens, being transplanted across the country more than once after marrying my father. In every garden, she would plant a rosebed, with creamy yellows, peaches, striped belles, and peony pink petals. As soon as it was warm enough for blooming, a vase of roses would sit at our kitchen table, their fragile scent mixing in with whatever my mom was cooking. When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, it is only natural that I think of sweet-smelling roses, and by extension, rosé wines. They may be so named because of their color, but I think the name fits in so many dimensions. Their delicate fragrance, often floral as well as fruity, and their sheer beauty in a glass, are just some of the traits they share with their botanical homonyms. France accords rosé wines as much respect as the reds and whites, and if you taste some of our selections, it is easy to see why. Their brightness and lovely aromatic mixture of fruit and minerality makes them excellent wines for the dinner table. Refreshing, elegant, and interesting, they are no wallflowers in the world of wine. They remind us, with every sip, that a great wine is, first and foremost, a pleasure to drink. Treat a loved one to this delight!

Shades of Rosé

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We have two sparkling rosés! The dry and seductive Rosé d’Orfeuilles ($14.99) from Touraine, and FRV 100 (muster all your high-school French and say it aloud. Get it? There’s some brilliant word-play going on), an off-dry Gamay made in the ancestral method, with the delicious, bright red fruit of the appellation ($21.99).

2009 Triennes Rosé ($15.99) – Primarily Cinsault, the juice for this Provençal rosé spent only a couple of hours in contact with the skins, resulting in a very pale color and delicate texture. It was bottled early to maintain its vibrant freshness.

2009 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé ($13.99) – Deep blush, the Syrah-Grenache blend is round and fruit forward, with crushed fruit and the slightest hint of spice.

2009 Cape Bleue Rosé ($10.99) – From top Rhône producer Jean-Luc Colombo comes an intoxicating rosé made from Syrah (40%), Mourvèdre (40%), and Counoise (20%). Perfumed and fresh, with notes of peach, raspberries and white pepper.

Cheese @ PG

If you’re planning a special meal for Mother’s Day, be sure to look in the cheese case! Rachel will help you put together a balanced cheese plate, whether you’re a fan of floral, springy cheeses like the Fleur Verte and the Olivade Violet, or are drawn to the pungent depths of the Bethmale. We’re gearing up for the Seattle Cheese Festival and have stocked the case with some hard-to-find cheeses (Herve Mons’ Cone de Port Aubry, Roquefort Coulet, Tomme du Berger), so there’s never been a better time come over and try some unusual cheeses!

Charcuterie @ PG
It rhymes!

Meat pile at a French market.

It may not be cassoulet season anymore, but it is always a good time for Duck Confit! Try shredding it and tossing it into a green salad with string beans, or sprinkle it over a thin, crispy pizza crust with figs, arugula, and Le Somport cheese.

We also have two kinds of Duck Salami, from Fabrique Delices and Savory Farms.

Finally, don’t forget about our Goose Mousse Supreme! Delicate, creamy, this delectable pâté is the perfect indulgence on special occasions.

Gifts & Goodies

Mothers have so many names: travel buddy, role model, cheerleader, coach, nurse, drill sergeant, chef, confidant, comforter, comedian, housekeeper, driver, and so the list goes on. In honor of all those facets, we have a list of gifts, sure to make her smile.

For the cheesehead
: A 3-piece knife set made with eco-friendly materials from cutlery expert Languiole, and an olive-wood cutting board.

For the memory-keeper: From Yellow Owl Co., a stamp set with the Eiffel tower, or a package of hand-pressed French postcards.

For the one whose hands are always busy: Our hands are always chapped from scrubbing and washing, so we know how much she’ll appreciate 80 Acres soaps and lotions. From natural, organic ingredients, these elegantly scented products are heaven on tired skin.

For the storyteller: “Gourmet Rhapsody” by bestselling author Muriél Barbery. A sensuous and witty novel written from the perspective of a grumpy food critic searching for a forgotten flavor, before it is too late.

For the queen of tea time: A ceramic teapot, in classic black-and-white Victoriana, or in one of our colorful Tunisian patterns.

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Thanks for reading, see you soon!