Agen Prunes are prunes made in Agen, France, on the edge of what used to be the old Gascony area of France. They are dark purple with a hint of blue in them. They are the dried version of plums called “Ente” plums grown in the Lot-et-Garonne region. The Ente plum is a hybrid of…
Protected Designation of Origin
Beurre Charentes-Poitou is a cream-coloured, 82% butterfat, easy-to-spread butter made from pasteurized cream. No additional substances, including colouring or preservatives, are allowed. It has to be made in the French départements of Charente, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée or Vienne (part of the old French province of Poitou.) In this catchment area, it is made by 12 different…
Beurre d’Isigny is a French butter that is used both as a spread and as an ingredient. It is sold in round paperboard tubs with replaceable lids (designed in Finland but made in Habsheim, France), in foil logs and in low, rectangular plastic tubs. There are sweet and semi-salted versions; both are 82% butterfat. The…
Bleu de Gex Cheese
Bleu de Gex is a blue cheese that is yellowy and semi-firm with pale blue-green veins. When the cheese is young, its taste is very mild; as it ages the taste gets more robust.
Bomba and Calasparra rice are types of paella rice. They are grown around the town of Calasparra, in Spain in the Murcia mountains neighbouring Valencia. The rice is grown along the Segura River, which brings cold water from the top of the mountains. The water passes through the paddies; its coldness slows the growth of…
Bonchester Cheese was a short-lived Camembert-style cheese made in Scotland for about 18 years. It was made from unpasteurized milk from Jersey cows.
Brebis au piment d’Espelette
Brebis au piment d’Espelette is sheep’s milk cheese made with red pimento in it, and rubbed with pimento powder. The pimento taste comes through as lightly fruity rather than piquant.
Buxton Blue Cheese
Buxton Blue is a russet-coloured blue cheese with light blue veins. Made from cow’s milk, it is cylinder shaped, and has a tangy taste.
Caciocavallo cheese is a version of mozzarella cheese. It can be used fresh or aged. It is often shaped like a gourd, and hung to cure.
Clotted Cream © Denzil Green While it would be a stretch to say Clotted Cream is practically butter (butter has 80% butterfat and up, while Clotted Cream is “only” 55% butterfat), it is a thick, spreadable cream with the consistency of soft butter and has a pale, buttery colour. Its taste lies somewhere in between…
Dorset Blue Vinney
Dorset Blue Vinney is a blue cheese made in Dorset, England from skim milk. It is less moist than Stilton, but has a stronger taste and more blue veins in it.
Fontina cheese is a firm, light-yellow cheese with tiny holes and a mild, nutty taste. When young, Fontina can be used as a “table cheese.” When old, it becomes a grating cheese.
Gamonedo is a Spanish cheese with a thin, dark reddish, inedible rind. Inside, the cheese is white or yellowish white, with some small holes and a crumbly texture. It has a lightly-smoked, nutty taste.
Gloucester Cheese is made in two versions: Double Gloucester, made from whole milk, is available in most supermarkets, while Single Gloucester, made from skim milk, is quite rare and expensive.
Gorgonzola cheese is an Italian blue cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Some versions are tangy and crumbly; milder versions tend to be creamy. Gorgonzola becomes very mild and sweet when used in cooking.
Grana Padano cheese is a hard grating cheese that you use like Parmesan. Though less expensive, it is less well-known than Parmesan which has had better marketing. In Italy, however, Grana outsells Parmesan 10 to 1.
Iberico Ham (“Jámon Iberico”) is made in the same fashion as is Serrano Ham, but from a different pig — the Iberian pig. The pigs are slaughtered when they weigh 350 pounds (160 kg.) They are put to sleep first so that they won’t be stressed at time of slaughter, which producers of the ham…
Jersey Royal Potatoes
Jersey Royals are waxy boiling or salad potatoes with a creamy texture grown on the island of Jersey. Many of the fields are on slopes. The fields are first fertilized with seaweed, which the farmers call “vraic.” After being planted with seed potatoes, the fields are covered with huge sheets of plastic wrap in the…
Lardo di Arnad
Lardo di Arnad is pork lard prepared as a deli meat. It is served raw as an antipasto. It is made in Val d’Aosta, Italy using fat from the backs and shoulders of the pigs. The pigs must be at least 9 months old and weigh a minimum of 352 pounds (160 kg.) The pigs…
Manchego Cheese (Spanish)
Manchego Cheese is a Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. The taste starts off mild when the cheese is young, and gets sharper as the cheese is aged. It has a waxed, inedible rind.
Morbier cheese is a mild-tasting cheese with a golden-brown rind. Inside, it is pale yellow, and semi-firm yet creamy and supple, with some very small holes and a thin layer of white pine ash in the middle.
Murcia al Vino Cheese
Murcia al Vino Cheese is a Spanish goat’s milk cheese with a red rind that comes from dunking the cheese in wine. It has a mild, tangy taste and a moist texture.
Nyons Olive Oil
Nyons Olive Oil is made from “Tanche” olives grown in the area of Nyons, Provence. The olives contain 20 to 25% oil. The olives are allowed to ripen till black and wrinkled, then harvested in December and January, and pressed. The olive oil is yellow in colour, and mild tasting. The olive oil received AOC…
Parmesan cheese is a hard, highly-flavourful cheese typically used in small amounts to add flavour accents as a garnish on dishes.