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This month LA GOURMET BOX whisks you away to Savoy, a region of snow-capped peaks, bucolic meadows and high mountain lakes. Home to several nature parks, this land is famed not only for the beauty of its landscape but also for its rich gastronomic tradition. Savoyard specialities—including but not limited to fondues and raclettes—are said to forge bonds of eternal friendship and fraternity at the table. As you savour the delicious treasures in this GOURMET BOX, you'll learn why!
Domaine de L'Idylle is a family vineyard and winery in the heart of Cruet, a town nestled at the foot of the Bauges Mountains, which produces a wide variety of wines and honours the old ways. Bearing the Savoy AOC or "controlled designation of origin" label, this white wine is made entirely from Jacquère grapes, a variety typical of this region. The vines grow on sun-drenched slopes of lime-rich clay soil where the steep incline makes it difficult to work. Citrus and white flowers are the dominant notes in this wine's bouquet, and the mouthfeel is refined with a hint of minerals. Brisk and bracing, it makes an ideal aperitif and goes splendidly with Savoyard cheese specialities. Best served cold.
OLD-FASHIONED SAVOYARD DIOTS (700 g)
Artisan: Aux Salaisons Savoyardes.
One of Savoy's most typical foods, diots are sausages made of minced pork seasoned with nutmeg. The diots in this GOURMET BOX were supplied by an artisan charcutier in Cognin, where local, all-natural ingredients are used to concoct mouth-watering delicacies. To savour these unique sausages, just heat them in a bain-marie or double boiler for twenty minutes or in a saucepan for ten. They are usually served with cheese-topped crozets, Savoy's singular take on pasta.
"PIT'CHUS NATURES" TRADITIONAL ARTISAN CROZETS (400 g)
Artisan: Le Père Rullier.
Crozets are a curious Alpine delicacy, a kind of pasta made from white or buckwheat flour (we prefer white), eggs, water and salt and cut into tiny squares. The crozets we've chosen for this month's box are laid out to dry at a specific temperature to further enhance their unique flavour. They are very easy to prepare and will lend your dishes an original flair. Simply boil, drain and serve with butter, grated cheese and a dash of salt and pepper. And if you want to eat them like a true Savoyard, add another layer of cheese (ideally a local variety like Beaufort) and make it au gratin!
MILK CHOCOLATE CHIP AND WILD BLUEBERRY CONE (100 g)
Artisan: La Chocolaterie Artisanale.
Does the thought of chocolate make your mouth water? Then this treat is for you: a surprising, delectable combination of milk chocolate and wild blueberries grown in the mountains of Savoy. These heavenly sweet morsels of pure cocoa butter will make any occasion special. Don't be fooled by the cone: it may look like a child's treat, but these heavenly flavours are sure to seduce foodies of any age!
WILD BERRY COULIS (180 g)
Artisan: La Ferme de la Plantaz.
This delicate berry coulis was made at a genuine Savoyard farmhouse perched on the Dent d'Arclusaz, one of the region's most famous peaks. Containing a selection of the finest hand-picked raspberries and blueberries, this coulis is prepared in large copper pots using traditional methods. Add a dollop to ice cream, yoghurt, cakes or pastries for an exquisite, eye-popping topping.
CALMING SAVOYARD HERBAL TEA (20 g)
Artisan: Label' Ortie.
Need a break from the winter cold? This tisane by Label' Ortie promises a relaxing moment of warmth and serenity with its 100% artisan-made, eco-friendly blend. Nadège cultivates a variety of local plant species, using all-natural compost and fertilizer, and gathers wild herbs in the Bauges Mountains to prepare this unique tea. To brew a steaming cup of calm, let the leaves steep in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the desired intensity.
AND WITH A BIT OF LUCK... A CHANCE TO WIN ONE NIGHT AT A HOTEL IN THE HEART OF SAVOY
La Pommeraie, a charming, cosy, family-run bed and breakfast in the Savoyard countryside, on the outskirts of Aix-les-Bains.
Two of our GOURMET BOXES contain a fantastic gift certificate that entitles the fortunate winners to a night on the country estate of La Pommeraie, in the heart of the Massif des Bauges Nature Park. Surrounded by apple orchards, the property is an oasis of peace and beauty with plenty of delightful surprises in store for visitors. The three guest rooms are spacious, inviting and tastefully decorated, with magnificent views of the Bauges Mountains. The prize you may find in your February GOURMET BOX is a gift certificate for one night's accommodation for two people (breakfast included). While you wait for your box to arrive, we invite you to discover this lovely corner of France on our Blog. Good luck, gourmands!