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

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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 3/18 Friday, Mar 18 2011 

 

(Serving Suggestion.)

Sweets @ PG

Yet another bonanza of goodies, just arrived from France. (We’ve got the excess of packing peanuts to prove it.)

Fig and Walnut Caramels

Some insane trifecta of deliciousness is achieved here with this combination of caramel, fig, and walnut. They’re so earthy and sweet and chewy and crunchy, all at the same time, that you’ll feel deeply satisfied with even just one. (But you better get a few, you know, for later.) (79¢)

Calissons

A traditional treat from Aix-en-Provence. A chewy paste of almonds, sugar, and Cavaillon melon with a touch of orange rind and just the right amount of royal icing. (99¢)

Chocolate Truffles

Supremely creamy dark chocolate truffles, dusted with cocoa powder. Yep. The gold-foil packaging is pretty great, too. (60¢)

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne Drinking Chocolate

This amazing drinking chocolate made with raw cane sugar and the finest cocoa beans won the NASFT Outstanding Beverage Award in 2002. With undertones of fruitiness and natural vanilla, this mix makes a mean cup of hot cocoa. (75¢/sachet or $14.49 cube of 14 sachets*)

*The cube was mistakenly priced at $5.99 and listed as such in the newsletter; $14.49 is the correct price. Sorry for any confusion!)

Marshmallow Ropes

Do like the cool enfants and eat these adorable marshmallow ropes right out of the package! Or cut them into comically large squares and float them in a bowl of drinking chocolate. Pick your favorite flavor: lemon, raspberry, or violet. ($1.99)

Dunk 'em.

And: cookies!

Biscoff

The demand for speculoos spread continues apace here at the shop, so we thought it wise to bring in the original cinnamon-stoked cookies as well. These are a Flanders tradition, known stateside for being served on Delta flights. Make a cup of coffee and sit back like you’re flying Delta first class, unless that sounds awful, in which case think about how you’re enjoying the cookies without having to go through the hassle of air travel. ($3.99)

Fossier Biscuits Roses

These airy yet hardy biscuits from Reims, near Champagne, are infused with a touch of vanilla and dressed with a coat of powdered sugar. They’re meant to be dunked, in anything from milk or tea to wine, an aperitif, or even a glass of Champagne, which is so charming we just can’t stand it. Also, the Fossier website offers recipe ideas for tower-like cakes using the cookies like Jenga pieces that are quite ornate and ladies-who-lunch. ($6.99)

Gavottes Crispy Crepe Dentelles

These biscuits from Brittany are made of many many crispy layers, wound around each other like “the dance that lends them their name.” (A gavotte was, obviously, a Breton dance involving lots of spinning and twirling). Available in regular flaky goodness, as well as with milk or dark chocolate coating. ($4.99)

Wine @ PG

Newest of the new.

This just in! (As in, I just put these new wines on the shelf five minutes ago.)

Domaine Força Réal Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2005 ($8.99)

Crazy good price. This medium-bodied southern red has some intense rusticity, with notes of graphite and dark fruit. A good quaffer, especially with something particularly meaty or savory.

Enclos du Petit Chien Cheverny Blanc 2009 ($12.99)

Another fantastic value from the Loire Valley. This 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay is, to quote Sharon, “yummy.” Expressions of herbs and minerals, and a nicely round creaminess in the mouth, revealing that the seemingly tiny edition of Chardonnay makes for an excellently balanced quencher.

Domaine des Braves Régnié 2009 ($14.99)

This 100% Gamay from Régnié, the most recently recognized cru of Beaujolais (1988), starts out with some residual sugar and floral hints of violet, but then deepens into dark berry notes and a smooth, refreshing minerality. We’ve noted the exceptional quality of Beaujolais wines from this vintage, and this one is no exception.

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 1/15 Tuesday, Jan 18 2011 

The cassoulet the boss made for our holiday party. Yum!

Wine @ PG

New to the Shop Reds.

Domaine de Andézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2009 ($13.99)

From the importer: “One of the first custom cuvées created by Eric Solomon. Based around the idea that extremely old-vine Syrah in this zone could produce a spicy, full-bodied red wine of incredible value for the U.S. market, Eric worked with the winemaker to fashion a bottling that exceeded everyone’s expectations.” From Robert Parker:  “It offers explosive notes of smoky bacon fat, cassis, and blackberries, a deep, rich, chewy style, and an exuberant, flashy personality. 91 points.” From us: “Yum!”

La Pépie Cabernet Franc 2009 ($14.99)

Just a delightful bistro red. A transparent violet in the glass, this Cabernet Franc is light and flavorful, yet earthy and persistent, with a delightful minerality that makes it a stupendous everyday wine. We think it would go just as well with salmon or pizza as it would with red meat or roasted vegetables.

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières “Les Moures” Gigondas 2007 ($17.99)

This wine absolutely flies off the shelf. We have very smart customers; nothing warms you up with such lovely Rhône intensity as a well-made Gigondas. “An outstanding effort. This deep ruby/purple-tinged Gigondas offers notes of spice box, incense, crushed rocks, red and black fruits, and no evidence of wood. It exhibits good sweetness on the attack, a medium to full-bodied mid-palate, an endearing texture, and a long, pure, convincing finish.” —Wine Advocate, 90 Points.

Meat @ PG

As evidenced by the recent blustery wind and somewhat-crystallized rain (and may I just say, as someone from Spokane: CHILL OUT, it’s not that bad), it’s clear that winter is nowhere near over. George, our resident cheese nerd, insisted that I insist that you make a cassoulet. One of lovely wine reps supplied her Robuchon-inspired recipe, and we’ve (of course), got all the fixings; I’ve bolded the items we carry in the shop.

Cassoulet – inspired by the recipe in The Complete Robuchon, by Joel Robuchon

2 lbs dry white beans, soaked overnight

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

4 onions, peeled, 2 stuck with 1 whole clove each and 2 sliced into rounds 1/8 inch thick

10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½ pound fresh pork rind

1 bouquet garni

1 garlic sausage, about ¾ pound

1 pound uncooked pork sausage (typically Toulouse-style)

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ to ¾  pound lean pork belly

3 to 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

3 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (you could use canned San Marzano tomatoes)

1 ½ pounds goose or duck confit

1 ¼ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, minced

1. Cook the beans. Put them in a large pot with the carrot, the 2 onions stuck with cloves, 6 cloves garlic, the pork rind, and bouquet garni. Cover generously with cold water and put the pot over high heat. Lower the heat before the pot starts to bubble, add salt to taste and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour. Add the garlic sausage and uncooked pork sausage, and simmer 15 minutes more or until the beans feel almost tender. Remove the pot from the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the meat. Put the pork belly in a large pot, cover it with cold water, bring to a boil and cook at a bubble for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and put it in a colander. Rinse under cold water and leave to drain.

3. In another pot, melt 4 tablespoons fat from the confit. When the fat is hot, brow the lamb chunks all over for about 3 minutes over high heat; if necessary, work in batches so the chunks are not crowded and so that all end up beautifully golden.  Remove them to a plate. Cook the sliced onions in the same pot for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring with a wooden spatula. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 4 cloves garlic, and 10 tablespoons bean cooking liquid.  Let the pot bubble for 10 minutes over low heat.

4. Fish the bouquet garni, onions, pork rind, and sausages from the bean-cooking pot.  Discard the bouquet garni and leave everything else on a plate.  Drain the beans over a bowl so that you keep their cooking liquid. Add the drained beans to the pot of onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, with a rather gentle touch.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice the garlic sausage into rounds ½ inch thick.  Line a large terrine with the pork rind. Fill the terrine with alternating layers of lamb, pork belly, small sausages, sliced garlic sausage, and the bean-onion-tomato mixture.  Finish with a layer of the beans and top them with 2 tablespoons confit fat spread evenly over their surface. The liquid in the terrine should reach the top layer of beans and just barely cover them; if it does not, add some bean-cooking liquid.

6. Bake for 3 hours. If necessary, add bean-cooking liquid to the cassoulet as it bakes to maintain a high level of liquid.

7. After the cassoulet has baked for 3 hours, push the duck or goose confit into the pot.  Mix the bread crumbs with the minced parsley and sprinkle the cassoulet with this mixture. Put the terrine back in the oven for 1 hour to brown.

Craves @ PG

Pave du Nord

Check out these adorable samples of one of our favorite cheeses, Pave du Nord. It’s a vividly orange cheese from the north of France with a deeply nutty flavor, making it eminently snackable and fantastic when melted in pasta or on a tartine. We’re always willing to offer a sample of any of our cheeses; we suggest that you resolve (hardy har) to come in and find a new favorite.

Gifted @ PG

More like FUNdue.

I’ve decided to keep the “Gifted” section of the newsletter going, seeing as there’s one more holiday on the horizon with which I feel we could be particularly helpful. Yup, the granddaddy of all the winter holidays, the most awful or most wonderful (depending on your perspective): Valentine’s Day. I’ll be featuring a great gift for your sweetheart from now until then, and then I promise, we’ll all go back to normal. This week: Fondue. I know, I know, but: FONDUE. You’re welcome.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 11/30 Wednesday, Dec 1 2010 

Warm-You-Up Reds.

Wine @ PG

Some warm-you-up reds, now in stock!

2007 La Bastide Saint Dominique Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($35.00)

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, and 5%Cinsault. Possesses a dark ruby/purple-tinged color, a seductive perfume of kirsch liqueur, sandalwood, soy, seaweed, and blacker fruits, ripe tannin, good freshness, and a plump style. 90 points Robert Parker

2009 Château de Ségriès Côtes du Rhône ($13.99)

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan. A transparent ruby red in the glass. Reveals dusty soil notes mixed with kirsch, garrigue, pepper, and spice. Fresh and fruity with ripe tannins. A great choice for a cold night in with a warm meal.

2008 Gouleyant Cahors ($11.99)

100% Malbec, this Cahors is leaner than Argentine malbecs. Elegant and smooth, with a lengthy finish. Delicious and fruity, with notes of toast and black cherry. This wine will keep you warm all winter!

2008 Puyvedal “Chevalier” Syrah Coteaux de Peyriac ($9.99)

85% Syrah and 15% Grenache. From clay and limestone terroir, this offers ripe flavors of dark berries and chocolate, with a smooth, almost dusty finish. A versatile and full-bodied red from a smaller region to the northwest of Carcassonne.

 

Cheese @ PG

Petit Sapin.

It’s the time of the year for cheeses that are delicious, pretty, and festive. Here are my top party cheeses!

Petit Sapin

From affineur Jean Perrin comes this lovely cow’s milk cheese from France-Comté. Matures in its wooden box and wrapped with a piece of pine bark. Creamy, earthy, and slightly floral, you can eat this cheese with a spoon! $20.99/each

Époisses

Brillat-Savarin dubbed this “the King of All Cheeses.” And the man knew his cheeses! This famously pungent, washed-rind cheese from Burgundy has a distinctly earthy flavor all its own and an irresistibly gooey texture. Just may convert you into a stinky cheese lover! $20.99/each

Cabécou Feuille

Underneath the chestnut leaf wrapper lies a tangy, creamy goat cheese. It’s first dipped in plum brandy and then sprinkled with peppercorns. Piquant, sweet, and quite festive. $2.99/each

Palet de Noël

A lemony, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese, adorned with paprika. The mildness of the cheese is balanced by the slight kick of the garnish. Spread on a turkey sandwich, or try with crackers and a zesty white wine. $10.99/each

Barbichette Sauvage

A pasteurized goat’s milk cheese with a delightfully creamy texture, almost like a whey cheese. The flavor is sweet, fresh, and lemony. A dense coating of herbs adds earthiness and texture. $8.99/each

 

Craves @ PG

Chestnut Spreads.

During the holidays, nothing warms the chilly Parisian streets as much as the steel drums of roasting chestnuts. They’re yummy, smell divine, and truly make it feel like Christmas. While no one has hit on this small business idea here in Seattle (hint hint, someone!), we here at PG know that our customers love all things chestnut. We have Clément Faugier whole chestnuts, unsweetened chestnut puree, and chesnut spread with vanilla. From Les Confitures à l’Ancienne (a brand we love for being made with cane sugar in small batches), we have chestnut spread with pieces  and “Noël” jam,  made with chestnuts, clementines, and cinnamon—delicious!

 

Gifted @ PG

Oil, Vinegar, Salt.

We love food gifts. Why buy someone a sweater that might not fit, or a dvd they may already have? It’s a fantastic idea for the food-lover and home chef on your list. My go-to recommendations are fancy salts, oils, and vinegars—everyone uses them, and most of them come in pretty packages that already look like a gift. My top three:  Le Saunier de Camargue Fleur de Sel, Moulins de la Brague Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Abbe Rous Banyuls Vinegar. Also: I’m armed with attractive bags, ribbon, and paper, ready to make a food gift “set.”

 

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 9/3 Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

A most delicious bivalve

September. Please note the last letter. Yes, it’s an r. Get your shuckers ready because it’s oyster season! A group promoting the wines of the Loire Valley has ingeniously paired up with local restaurants and oyster farms to bring us Muscadet Seattle. This event spotlights the fantastic natural affinity between the crisp, mineral-driven Muscadet wines and the sublime sea flavor of oysters. Both are also incredible adventures in texture. Eric Asimov of the New York Times recently revisited Muscadet, and he suggests that it’s actually a quite versatile wine that could also pair well with other seafood dishes, poultry and pasta. We say: when it comes to Muscadet and food, we’re fine with trying out every combination possible (in the name of culinary exploration, of course).

Wine @ PG

2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV $16.99

While there may not be a more natural pairing than Muscadet and oysters, straying from the beaten paths will bring delightful surprises. The high acidity and low alcohol brighten flavors and refresh the palate, enhancing and marrying the flavors of seafood, herbs, and seasonings. This one comes from an old vine planting, and the wine is aged on the lees for 18-24 months. With the exquisite minerality that is typical of Muscadet, the wine exudes fresh notes of limestone and sea breeze. The slight salinity is off-set by a touch of creaminess on the palate. It is one of my favorite whites in the shop.

“Bright straw. A piercing, energetic array of citrus and floral scents, complicated by strong minerality and a note of white pepper. Bitter lime pith and quinine flavors gain flesh and weight with air, taking a turn to sweeter tangerine and quince. Strikingly balanced and precise, with a long, spicy, mineral-dominated finish. This should be even better with a couple years of bottle age.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Bonnet-Huteau “Les Dabinières” Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $14.99

Run by Rémi Bonnet (president of the region’s Maîtres Vignerons cooperative cellar) and his brother Jean-Jacques, the estate is based around the ruins of a château dating to the Middle Ages and has 48 hectares under vines, with some 42 ha planted with Muscadet. This particular cuvée has loads of finesse and a bright texture on the palate.

“Demurely scented with under-ripe honeydew melon, white peach, fresh lemon, clover, and a hint of chalk dust. Soft in feel and expansive on the palate for its genre, yet tingling in its bright citricity, it offers generous refreshment. The strong personality of this cuvee comes in its terrifically long, animating finish, with saliva-inducing salinity and citric juiciness.” 91 points Robert Parker

2008 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $12.99

Bernard Chéreau owns three separate estates within the house of Chéreau Carré, which occupies one of the most privileged positions in Nantes. Chateau de la Chesnaie represents a 25-year old parcel in the heart of Sèvre-et-Maine. Chéreau uses only indigenous yeasts and ages his wines on the lees for four months, putting him at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of Muscadet production. We found the 2008 vintage to have a wonderful freshness, with notes of seashell and lime. Mineral-laden and with a dry finish, this wine would be excellent with any delicate preparation of shellfish or oysters.

Craves @ PG

Casali Choco-Bananas

These little chocolate-covered banana candies are enormously popular. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cheap (they are), or because of their must-look-and-touch packaging (reptile brain), or because they’re delicious (yep, that too). Try them frozen! You will thank me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

About Alice by Calvin Trillin

This book is not about food or wine, although it is written by the illustrious Calvin Trillin, who has often taken food as his subject. This slim little hardcover book is, obviously, about his wife, Alice, written five years after her death. It’s just a divine little book. He creates a glowing portrait of a hilarious, complicated, engaged, and uniformly charming woman with whom he made a long, lovely life. The picture above is taken from the back cover, and I think it’s worth the $6.99 price alone to be able to take the book down from time to time and get some ideas about how to live with grace, and maybe to complain about how people don’t dress like that anymore.

Paris Grocery News 7/22 Friday, Jul 23 2010 

"Quoi de neuf, docteur?" was the French title of sitcom "Growing Pains". Impress your Friends.

Quoi de Neuf?
Or, “What’s new?” at Paris Grocery

This week we’re really excited to have some amazing new products in the store. Of course, we love everything we already have (even you, hearts of palm who languished all winter just dreaming of being in summer salads!). But it’s thrilling to search through packing peanuts like kids at Noel, to see our purveyors dropping by with new products, and to have our importers sourcing some random hard-to-find item for us. This week we’re celebrating the spirit of the new. We hope you’ll come down to Western Avenue and see us!


Aperitifs @ PG

Ouvre l’appetit!

Bonal

We at Paris Grocery are strong proponents of the aperitif. Delicate, herbal, and thirst-quenching drinks to begin an evening is so ingenious and, well, civilized. We’ve become somewhat obsessed with bringing into the shop ever more obscure varieties of aperitifs on the market (it’s sort of nerdy, we know). The same gentleman who brings us Dolin vermouths brought in some Bonal for us. This aperitif wine is made with 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 up your classic Negroni cocktail.

Wine @ PG
Buy six or more bottles and get 10% off!

After whetting the appetite with an aperitif, move on to dinner with one of these delicious new wines.

2008 Chateau d’Orschwihr “Bollenburg” Gewurztraminer Alsace ($17.99)

An attractive Gewurztraminer, with aromas of lychee, rose, and pear. The palate is silky and soft, with savory spice notes lingering on in the lush, off-dry finish. It is concentrated and well-balanced, thanks to the estate’s practices. Yields are limited and no sugar is added back to the fermenting wine despite the cooler growing climate of Alsace. Gewurztraminer is known for its versatility; this wine will pair well with anything from a cheese platter to spicy Thai dishes.

2009 Chidaine Touraine ($16.99)

Not a day goes by that we don’t recommend this wine to one of our customers. It is a perfectly executed and endlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Very aromatic, with fresh citrus notes, it has a chalky texture and a brilliant minerality. It drinks well above its mid-teen price point, rivaling some Sancerres. We’ll be drinking this wine for the rest of the summer, and after you try it we bet you will be, too.

Domaine Huet Vouvray


2007 Domaine Le Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
($31.99)

Like the Chidaine, this single-vineyard bottling also comes from the Loire Valley. But the two wines couldn’t be more different! Domaine Le Huet is a legendary estate, and this dry Chenin Blanc is an impressive bottling. A gorgeous buttercup shade, exotic fruits dominate on the nose and the palate, and the slightly oily texture of a good Vouvray is balanced by a core of minerality. A truly beautiful wine, to linger over with a loved one.

“Pale gold. An expressive, mineral-laced bouquet displays lemon and lime zest, passion fruit, pungent herbs and talc. Juicy but taut, offering tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors, with a strong mineral spine adding lift. Becomes weightier and spicier with air, finishing on a juicy note of yellow plum, with strong sappy, stony persistence. This is still a baby.” 92(+?) points Stephen Tanzer

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own).

2004 Philippe Mur “Clos Basté” Madiran ($29.99)

Like any Madiran, this wine is hefty, with a purple-ink robe and lingering, sandy finish. Nevertheless, it is balanced with robust dark fruit showing through, against a backdrop of earthy, smoke-laced notes.  Philippe Mur worked at the most prominent winery in this appellation before striking out on his own with a tiny organic plot of vines. Fierce and beautiful, this wine reflects its rugged terroir. With 100% Tannat, it is aged 18 months in large barrels. It can age for several more years. Phenomenal with grilled lamb.

Food @ PG
Long summer days require protein and sugar.

Charlie, charcuterie Zen master and co-founder of Zoe’s Meats, dropped by the store today with our usual delivery of salami, finocchiona, spicy coppa, and ham. But he also brought a new product for us to try: Salami De Cacao. This salami is yet another masterpiece. It’s made with cocoa powder, chilis, and garlic for a deliciously complex flavor. Rich, earthy, and almost sweet, with a delicately spicy kick on the finish, this salami will slay you. Amazing! $4.99/quarter lb

Crossings Delivers the Sweet Stuff!

Another beautiful delivery from Crossings Imports arrived on Monday. They’ve become one of our favorite resources for incredible French sweets. Roll call, sweets:

Goat Milk Buckwheat Caramels come in a sweet little “cheesebox” with nine toothsome caramels made with goat milk and buckwheat. Tangy and textured, they make a great gift. $7.99/box

Goat Milk and Buckwheat Caramels

Individually-wrapped caramels are placed at the counter because we are evil geniuses. We have Fig & Walnut and Fleur de Sel flavors. 99 cents/each

Calissons are a traditional treat from Aix-en-Provence. A chewy paste of almonds, sugar, and Cavaillon melon with a touch of orange rind and just the right amount of royal icing. 99 cents/each

Madeleines are available for your Proustian pleasure individually-wrapped. 99 cents/each

Gavottes cookies are crunchy cookies of many many thin layers. Try original ($4.99/box) and coeur de praline ($3.99/box).

Marshmallow Ropes
are what all the cool enfants like to snack on. We’re thinking you should try roasting them, too. Try all three flavors: lemon, raspberry, and violet. $1.99/each

Craves @ PG

Le Provencal

A Provençal specialty, this two-tiered goat cheese is a summery delicacy. A layer of fresh chèvre is “frosted” with tapenade, and a second layer, flavored with herbes de Provence, is set on top. With a creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture and a mild flavor, this cheese is perfect for a sunny day and a light Rosé! $8.99/ea


Feed your Mind @ PG

Corkscrewed by Robert V. Camuto

An odyssey into the brave new world of French wines, this book is a celebration of the diversity that makes French wine more than a mere commodity. Camuto’s work is a delightful look beyond the supermarket to the various flavors offered by the true vintners of France.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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