Sunday, July 18, 2010

Specialties from Burgundy

In addition to the French and American chefs at the 4-14 Festival, there were numerous representatives of Burgundian specialties providing tastings of their products. We stopped by the booth for La Ferme Fruirouge, which was selling fruit products from its farm in Nuits-Saint-Georges. All of their products are produced on the farm from fruits that are harvested on their property and in the neighboring region. These include raspberries, red and black currants, strawberries, and cherries. In this photo, Isabelle Olivier displays a jar of beurre de cassis, which is neither a jam, nor a compote, but is more like a paste. Lightly sweetened, it is used in pastries, brioches, rolled cakes, and tarts.

Nearby, a producer of crémant from Châteauneuf-en-Auxois was selling his Chardonnay Brut—La Perle de l'Auxois—for 3€ a glass and 2€ for refills. I returned to his booth several times, as I found the sparkling wine to be quite crisp, not fruity, as some crémants are. The bubbles in this wine are fine—they allow you to concentrate on the flavor of the wine as opposed to the fizz, and create a pleasant sensation when the crémant is swallowed.

The town of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois will be holding a Medieval Market and a tournament on July 24 and 25.

We stopped by the booth of a cheese manufacturer named Gaugry. Here we purchased samples of both non-aged and aged cheeses. Among the cheeses that we enjoyed was Epoisses, which is made according to an age-old tradition using raw cow's milk. During the aging process, the rind is washed in marc de Bourgogne.

This soft cheese is quite pungent. We didn't finish all of it, and stored it overnight in the minibar of our hotel. The following morning the refrigerator had a strong "welcome to the farm" odor. Now that's real cheese!

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