Thursday, October 19, 2006

Parisian Flower Food Update: Violet Jam

Some of the food I brought home from Paris I did not try, having faith (hope) they would taste as good as they looked.

Here's my experience so far...

Violet Jam

The violet jam is very good, though not strong in violet flavor. We had it for brunch this morning on homemade french (ha!) toast.

Oatmeal French Toast with Violet Jam and Raspberries

2 large eggs
1/2 c. (soy) milk

1 T. - 1/4 c. 1 minute quick oats
cinnamon to taste
a sprinkle of ground cloves
pinch of sea salt

4 slices whole grain bread
butter/vegetable oil

violet jam
fresh raspberries

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Add butter or oil to a frying pan and heat on medium. Dip bread, one slice at a time into batter. When butter is melted, add battered bread to pan (depending on your stove, this may be a good time to lower the heat, if it's too hot). Cook until golden, and turn.

Serve with violet jam and raspberries. So easy and so, SO good.

Serves 2-4

{This recipe is still a work in progress, but very good as is; adjust to taste.}

Saturday, October 14, 2006

French Flowery Treats

I'm still recovering from jet-lag but as promised, I've brought back many floral-infused treats from my trip to Paris, and I'm here to tell you about about them! I've found so many wonderful things, and it's odd to think flower-flavored foods are so popular overseas but not so much in the U.S. Perhaps this will change!

I didn't, unfortunately, find much in the way of flower liqueurs. Not such a big deal since I don't drink very often. In the Montmartre I did find a little set of rose, violet and orange blossom liqueurs for over 18 euros - I decided against it, as each bottle provided maybe one or two sips! It was the same brand as the rose and orange blossom liqueurs I got there before but the laughably small quantity was quite the turn off.

{Please note: As I am incredibly lazy - and tired today - you will not find the appropriate accent marks on all the French names here.}

At my beloved supermarket, Monoprix, I found most of the products shown.

These flower jams from Albert Menes...


Rose Petal Jam

and Violet:

Violet Jam

You'll find jars of flower confits all over France from various makers such as Fauchon; I choose this brand for its quaint homemade look and affordable price.

Also from Albert Menes...

Mustard with Herbs de Provence:

Mustard with Herbs de Provence

Ok, what does mustard have to so with flowers? Herbs de Provence is an herbal blend, traditionally made with lavender.

I've blogged about this one before, New Tree's Tranquility Bar with Lavender and Lime Blossom extract:

Lavender Milk Chocolate with Lime Blossom Extract

This bar is still one of my favorites.

Mamie Nova's Violet yogurt:

Violet Yogurt

This is a new flavor and was hard to find. It's very creamy and mild, not very yogurty at all. (French yogurt tends to be less sour than American yogurt anyway, but this was especially mild and rich.) She also makes a Rhubarb Rose flavor, which I did not try.

Recettes & Sensations' Raspberry Violet yogurt:

Raspberry Violet Yogurt

The sweet violet flavor went quite well with the raspberries in this mildly tangy yogurt.

They make a Litchi Rose flavor, also good:

Litchi Rose Yogurt

Lorina's Violet-flavored Mineral Water (with gas):

Violet Mineral Water

You may recognize the label - their French lemonades can be found at World Market and other gourmet shops in the U.S.

At La Grande Epicerie (part of Le Bon Marche on Rue de Sevres), I found:

Violet marshmallows from » Arnaud Soubeyran. {Sorry, no pic, I ate it before I had the chance to photograph it! Yum.}

Leone's Violet Pastilles (another item I've blogged about before) in its pretty vintage wrapping:


Dessert Innovations: little cookies, similar to macaroons (no filling) in rose and violet.

This market (as well as many tourist shops and grocery stores) also had a large assortment of flowery hard candies like violet and red poppy. I'm not a big fan of hard candies so I didn't get any this time.

I was shocked to discover Flavigny has recently changed their packaging. The new illustrations I don't even see on their website, », which is just as well as I do not care for these new tins. Some things should never change, you know?

I came across many varieties of flower-flavored syrups like rose, jasmine, violet and red poppy in grocery stores, tourist shops and even Durance (soaps and perfumes from Provence), over near the Place de la Madeleine. But with all the new liquid restrictions, I thought it best I limit my goods. Besides, I can just order some Monin syrup at home. (See links, right.)

Les Ruchers du Roy make an abundance of different honeys from a myriad of flowers including this one of lavender:

Lavender Honey

» Fouquet, an old candy shop since 1852, makes confits and candied petals. This little jar of candied lilacs is terribly exciting!:

Candied Lilacs

Miss Judy introduced me to » Laduree,when we were in Paris a couple of years ago. This window display is from their Bonaparte (Rive Gauche) location:

Laduree Window

The Saint-Honore Cake in Raspberry-Rose. This delicious cake is pastry, rose cream, raspberry and pink chantilly (whipped cream):

Laduree Box

Don't they have the loviest packaging?

Saint-Honore Rose Cake

The macaroons are so good too. Here's Cassis (Currant)-Violet with a fruit filling, Orange Blossom with a gel filling and (my favorite) Rose with a cream filling:


There are two other cakes, » "religieuse," one rose and one cassis-violet. Perhaps they are named that because they look like little churches? I didn't try these. Next time.

Trivia: As I recall, Laduree was featured as a charming backdrop in the final episodes of Sex and the City.

And finally, there's » Au Nom de la Rose. I stumbled upon this shop in the Latin Quarter. Rather, my nose did the stumbling, for the rose fragrance led me to its doors. Rose bouquets and gourmet sweets like white chocolate with candied rose petals.

Au Nom de la Rose

The lady recommended the drops. Upon initial inspection, I thought they are gummy but alas, hard candy. Still good, very intense rose flavor. I think I will use them to make a version of rose candy ice cream - similar to one of my favorites, peppermint stick ice cream, but with rose candy instead.

Rose Drops

Ok, perhaps some violet jam, butter, bread and a spot of tea for breakfast. Bon appetit!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Strawberries: Favorite Recipes

This lovely book, Strawberries: Favorite Recipes, by Oda Tietz, was recommended by our own Miss Judy. (Please see her informative post below!) I ordered it online and eagerly awaited it's arrival. Oh Judy, you were right, I love it!

There are many recipes in here with flowers, like "Fruit Cream with Candied Magnolia Blossoms" and "Meringue Torte with Strawberries and Candied Elderberry Flower Clusters."

Judy, I think we'll have to try out these recipes and do a little article on them together!

» Powell's online bookstore to get your own copy.

Fuchsia Epicerie Fleur | Montreal, Quebec

During my first-thing-in-the-morning web-surfing (I'm a geek, I know!), I discovered this flower-themed restaurant in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) called Fuchsia Epicerie Fleur. I've aways wanted to visit Montreal. My grandparents lived there many years ago, and would regularly return on vacation.

Go here to read this little article featuring Fuchsia Epicerie Fleur in the » Montreal Gazette.

The article is recent, so the restaurant should be there. Here's the info:

54 Duluth East, Montreal, Quebec (H2W 1G8)

{at St. Dominique, Plateau}
phone: 514.487.3155