Top 5 French Culinary Stocking Stuffers

November 17, 2011

Searching for the perfect stocking stuffer for the foodie or francophile in  your life? Here is a short list of delicious French culinary treats guaranteed to show thoughtfulness and good taste!

1. Normandy Galettes (butter cookies) in a keepsake tin

French supermarkets devote an entire aisle, sometimes two, showcasing the hundreds of varieties of this time-honored delicacy. Common names include galettes, palets, biscuits, and sables. Galette is used broadly in French to describe various types of rustic flat, round, freeform crusty cakes, pastries, or cookies. The basic recipes involve butter, sugar, flour, eggs, a little baking powder, and vanilla (or brandy).

The Mere Poulard cookies arrive in this bright red tin decorated with scenes of Mont Saint-Michel. The galettes are wrapped in sachets of six, so they stay fresh longer and are easier to share.

 

2. Quatre Epices

Discover France's most popular spice blend with medieval roots dating to the fourteenth century. Despite its literal name, "four spices," this blend has historically been open to delicious interpretation by royal chefs and home cooks alike. Savory or sweet, this spice blend offers versatility. Use it to add peppery palette "kick" to your favorite pastries or slowly simmer it to balance the deep flavors of a warm winter stew.

Delicious Uses: Rub for pork chops and duck breasts, charcuterie (sausage, salamis), pâtés, slow-cooked stews, soups, vegetables, fragrant breads, butter cookies.

Ingredients: Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Allspice, Pepper, Thyme

Tips:

  • Add 2 teaspoons to your favorite sugar cookie or shortbread recipe to add a peppery kick.
  • Replace spices in your apple pie recipe with Quatre Epices for a heartier old-world taste.
  • Substitute the ground cinnamon and ginger in your typical pumpkin pie recipe with Quatre Epices.

 

3. Brittany Salted Butter Caramels

Who doesn't like caramel? From Brittany, home of some of the finest fleur de sel in France. These arrive in a camembert box, you don't even need wrapping!

Ok, if you have to wrap, then don't miss these - they are great to tie on packages: Salted Butter Caramel Lollipops!

 

4. Authentic French Mustard of Kings

For mustard lovers, you cannot beat authentic mustard from Pommery, one of France's most renowned mustard makers since 1760. Of course they make the traditional whole grain mustard but did you know they also make a Gingerbread Mustard (Moutarde au Pain d'Epices) as well as a "spicy hot" Fireman's Mustard (Moutarde des Pompiers)? These are great for gifts as they come in small 8.8 oz or large 17.6 oz ceramic crocks. Again, the packaging is so unique you don't need to wrap it up!

Tips: All of these mustards are great on post-holiday leftover turkey or ham sandwiches with rustic French baguettes or hearty wheat bread.

 

5. Piment D'Espelette

French Market Spice's Piment D'Espelette is a paprika grown in the Basque region of southwestern France. The uniquely delicate, warm, and fruiting flavor of this dried and ground pepper gives it versatility in French and Spanish cuisine.

Delicious Uses: Use to flavor oils, as a condiment, or in the classic Basque dish Piperade.

Tips: Try it as a condiment on scrambled eggs or omelettes.
 

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