Christmas wouldn’t be the same without fine food and, for me, these wonderful French specialities truly embody the spirit of Christmas.
Prunes from the Agen region of France are considered such a fine delicacy that they are known there as “Black Gold of Aquitaine”. The juiciest, plumpest plums are carefully selected to be dried and then filled with fruit puree to intensify the flavour. Pruneaux D’Agen are perfect paired with Eau de Vie, as the lightness of this fruit liqueur is the ideal match for the richness of the prunes. This combination, when enjoyed in the run up to Christmas, excites the palate for the treats to come! Available in-store and online from mid-November. Limited availability.
Pâte de Fruits and Confit de Fruits
In the Auvergne region of France, beautifully ripened fruits such as apricots, pears and blackcurrants are considered delicacies. The soft pureed fruits in pâte de fruits contrast the whole, preserved confit de fruits in texture, but in taste both specialities share a delicate balance of sweetness, achieved by adding just enough sugar to complement the natural sweetness of the fruit. Fruit is traditionally enjoyed at Christmas and pâte de fruits and confit de fruits, with their intense fruit flavours, are best served with coffee, after dinner. Available in-store and online from mid-November. Limited availability.
In England, chestnuts are enjoyed roasted in the winter season, but in France they are traditionally a sweet delicacy. Marrons glacés are made from the finest chestnuts, glazed using time-honoured recipes dating back to the 15th century, when sugar was first introduced to the chestnut-growing regions of southern France. For me, there is no better way to end Christmas day than with one last treat in the form of marrons glacés paired with well-aged Armagnac! Available in-store and online from mid-November. Limited availability.