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This month LA GOURMET BOX invites you to discover Hérault, a land of rich diversity where delightful surprises await. Bathed by the waters of the Mediterranean, this department in the Languedoc region has much to offer visitors: long beaches, quaint villages, beautiful plains and unusual landscapes like the Cirque de Navacelles, the Salagou Valley and the underground marvels of the Grotte des Demoiselles. A land of vineyards, Hérault boasts a wide variety of wines and a cuisine as rich as its natural heritage. For this GOURMET BOX, we've selected some of the most delectable flavours to give you a taste of this enchanting corner of southern France.
AOP COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC, CUVÉE ÉQUILIBRE 2013, RED WINE (75 cl)
Winery: Villa Symposia.
SLocated in Aspiran, Villa Symposia is undoubtedly one of the best destinations in Languedoc. The Cuvée Équilibré is a blend of generous, robust, sun-drenched grape varieties typical of this region: Syrah (70%), Carignan (25%) and Grenache Noir (5%). This particular vintage has produced a voluptuously full-bodied red wine with an aroma of black berries that goes perfectly with white or red meats, mushrooms, game and cheeses.
GREEN LUCQUES OLIVE MOULINADE (90 g)
Producer: Lo Moulinet.
In the mood for a taste of summer? Then you simply must try this moulinade, a delicious blend of olive oil and Lucques olive paste. Grown primarily in the Languedoc region, Lucques olives have a distinctive half-moon shape. The fruit used in this moulinade comes from 30-year-old trees tended by two olive enthusiasts, Anne and Didier, who together run a plantation with over 3,000 olive trees and an olive oil press opened in 2004, Lo Moulinet (The Little Press). As staunch advocates of tradition, they still extract oil using the old cold-pressing method. This savoury farmhouse moulinade will make a fresh and original addition to any snack spread.
BLACK OLIVE MOULINADE (90 g)
Producer: Lo Moulinet.
Food should be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, and this black moulinade from Lo Moulinet is ideal for adding a highly original dash of colour and flavour to your hors d'oeuvres platter. Spread on Melba toast, this moulinade is sure to give your guests a delicious welcome.
ROCKFISH SOUP (370 ml, 2-3 servings) AND...
The next stop on our culinary journey is one of the specialities of the Languedoc coast: the world-famous soupe de poisson from the port town of Sète! This is one of the signature products made by Azaïs-Polito, the last surviving cannery in Sète, which was also the first company to pack the region's culinary delicacies in tins. The family business was founded in 1963, and today, four generations later, their exquisite recipes are still handed down from parents to children. Their deliciously creamy rockfish soup contains 52% fish, tomato, olive oil, water, vegetables and saffron. They do not use flour or any other thickener. Pour the contents into a saucepan, fill the empty jar with water, add and bring to a boil. In a few minutes you'll be beguiled by the tantalizing aroma. Close your eyes, inhale and travel to a sunny seaside in southern France!
... ITS CROUTONS, FOR ROCKFISH SOUP (75 g)
To give the soup a crunchy flourish, we've selected another typical product from Sète: delicious seasoned croutons. No bowl of traditional soupe de poisson would be complete without them!
ARTISAN SCALLOP RILLETTES (130 ml)
Producteur : Azaïs-Polito.
Made the good old-fashioned way, the products of Azaïs-Polito are veritable gems encapsulating the best of southern French cuisine. These rillettes (40% scallops and no artificial colouring) will lend your table a jaunty nautical air. Serve it raw spread on a piece of toast to make taste buds feel jolly in any season. Light and original, they're the perfect addition to a post-holiday hors d'oeuvres party.
KEMIAS WITH BLACK CARAWAY SEEDS (100 g)
Producter: La Belle Époque.
These surprising delicacies are made by La Belle Époque, a traditional bakery in Frontignan that regularly "takes the cake" in the regional culinary contests. Based on an old family recipe, the kémias are savoury biscuits covered in black caraway seeds that combine originality, quality and outstanding flavour. With their delicate aroma of anisette and pepper, these treats won the 2008 Hérault Gourmand Award and are guaranteed to impress your guests!
ZÉZETTES DE SÈTE (150 g)
Producteur : La Belle Époque.
One of the gastronomic legends of this region is the Zézette de Sète: a sweet biscuit made with flour, white wine and vanilla extract and sprinkled with coarse sugar. The crunchy texture only enhances its appeal. This speciality of the biscuiterie La Belle Époque has won several prizes, and it goes very well with wine, champagne, coffee or ice cream. The perfect ending to a perfect meal!
TWO HANDMADE LOLLIPOPS WITH OLD-TIME FLAVOURS
Producter: Confiserie Boudet.
If the memory of old-fashioned sweets makes you nostalgic, then this month's GOURMET BOX has a special treat for you: handmade lollipops in two classic flavours, anisette and mint. These eye-catching candies are certain to delight young and old alike. Each lollipop is made using all-natural colouring and cut by hand.
AUTHENTIC BERLINGOTS FROM PÉZENAS WITH SOUTHERN FLAVOURS
Producter : Confiserie Boudet.
In this GOURMET BOX you'll also find a liberal sprinkling of tempting boiled sweets, the famous berlingots made in the town of Pézenas. These candies, flavoured with fruits that grow in southern France (cherry, apricot, strawberry, peach, melon, pear, blackcurrant, etc.), will bring back your fondest and sweetest childhood memories.
AND FOR THE LUCKY WINNERS...
La Villa Symposia, An Oasis of Serenity and Mediterranean Bliss among Vineyards
One of our GOURMET BOXES will contain a fantastic gift certificate that entitles two fortunate gourmands to a night at Villa Symposia, the same estate where the wine in this month's box was made. The owners will give you a warm welcome and introduce you to the fascinating world of viticulture. Sip the magical nectar of their grapes while you lounge on the lovely terrace overlooking the pool and vineyards—it’s an excellent place to relax and unwind. This gift certificate includes one night for two people in one of the villa's four guest rooms as well as a scrumptious breakfast. Visit our blog to know more about this fabulous hotel here.