This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Millésime Bio which has arguably become France’s most compelling organic wine exposition. As in previous years, it once again convened in Languedoc’s Montpellier and I had the opportunity to experience the show for the fourth consecutive year.
What is so lovely about Lo Brusc is that the selection of flavor profiles that their honey offer ranges from super subtle and delicate to bitter, funky and pungent. Their honey is very true to the flower source and I always turn to Lo Brusc as the example for what a particular single source honey should taste like.
This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite French liqueurs, the inky black currant flavored Crème de Cassis de Dijon. These sweet little bottles of crème de cassis are made in Burgundy by Briottet, a company run by the Briottet family in the town of Dijon since 1836.
This time last year, while traveling through the Pyrenees mountains, Valerie, Ihsan and I stopped for a few days to pay a visit to the small farm that produces one of our favorite products: Piment d’Espelette. Piment d’Espelette A.O.C. (translation: peppers from Espelette) are bright red peppers grown in the town of Espelette and 9 surrounding communes.
Sainte-Maures have been made for over 1,000 years and the cheeses made in the Touraine region (known as Sainte-Maure de Touraine) are particularly well known and were granted AOC status in 1990. Touraine was broken up across different communes when French government departments were reorganized and, as a result, the geographical area of the appellation includes the department of Indre-et-Loire and the neighboring cantons of Loir-et-Cher, Indre and Vienne.
It’s sad to say, but farmstead cheeses are disappearing in France. This is why I feel compelled to highlight the last remaining producer of Persillé de Tignes and to share my love of this cheese.
Having seen their tommes progress from curds into molds and finally to the cave, we sat around the Burgat’s kitchen table, drank some wine, chatted and sampled a wheel of their cheese with some bread. A pretty perfect evening in my book.
This has been a good year for cheese at Formaggio Kitchen. We were lucky enough to visit several producers—both old friends and new acquaintances—who are sending us some incredible cheeses.
Comté is an alpine cheese produced in the Jura mountain range of France. Since our fateful first visit, we’ve gone on to establish the most complete collection of Marcel Petite Comté in the country, with cheeses ranging in age from 8 months to 36 months.
Philippe Gonet’s goal was to make a variety of vinegar no one else made: Vin Jaune. Vin Jaune is a unique, oxidized wine that sits in oak barrels for just over six years.
Mosse Moussamoussettes: on a recent trip to New York, I was lucky enough to share a bottle of this lovely little Loire Valley wine with Brooke and Ayse from the Formaggio Kitchen Essex shop.
One of the questions that we often field on the cheese counter is what the term AOC actually tells us about a given cheese.