Summertime entertaining made easy with a bevy of fine wines, cheeses and salts made in France. This post is sponsored by The French Ministry of Agriculutre. As always, the content and opinions expressed are my own.
What’s better than joining friends around a board full of soft, creamy cheeses and a homemade salted fig compote while fragrant, fruity wines flow freely all around you? All of which were made in France!?!
Is my Francophilia showing?
Well, it’s for good reason. I have often thought I was born at the wrong time. And in the wrong country.
While all my high school friends were blasting Bruce Springsteen, I was swooning over Edith Piaf.
And, oh yeah, the patron saint I chose at Confirmation was Saint Thérèse, La Petite Fleur.
I wasn’t messing around.
Neither do the French. Especially when it comes to food and drink.
Don’t take that to mean I’m drinking less. Just drinking different.
I realized I’ve been so obsessed with rosé that I forgot how much I love Beaujolais.
This versatile fruity, light-bodied wine is perfect for summertime sipping. It pairs well with a surprising array of foods. Everything from cheese to seafood to pork and chicken. It’s also delicious on its own.
Second of all, this post introduced me to my new favorite white wine made in France, Saget la Perrière’s Marie de Beauregard Vouvray. Besides being exceptionally fun to say in my French accent, it’s pear and honey notes sent me into a reverie from which I still haven’t entirely emerged. And that is fine with me.
Just look at that color!
Third of all, though I must admit to loving every cheese that ever touched my lips, the two Ile de France cheeses the Ministry sent me are exceptional and a perfect pairing for a killer cheese board.
The Saint Agur blue is remarkably creamy (made with cow’s milk as opposed to the more common goat) with a sharp and intense flavor that isn’t overwhelming. It stops short of making my nose sting. Which I appreciate.
And the Saint André is like eating the softest, creamiest butter you ever tasted. With rind. And it’s graced with a salty tang compliments of the sea breezes that sweep through Normandy’s coastal pastures.
But not just any sea salt. Pure, all-natural, environmentally friendly “white gold” from La Baleine.
My point? Your cheese plate is not complete without something sweet. Honey is acceptable in a pinch but if it’s fruity you get extra cheese plate points. And if it’s fruity with a savory component you are clearly the winner.
So, here’s my recipe for Salted Fig Compote so we can all win the Cheese Plate Olympics this summer.
A sweet spread with a savory component to round out your cheese board.
- 2 cups dried French figs quartered
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon La Baleine Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring all ingredients to a roiling boil.
Lower heat and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until figs are soft (about 20 minutes.)
Uncover. Break up figs with back of spoon. Simmer uncovered until syrupy.
Serve warm (but not hot) or at room temperature.
You can easily get all these Made in France products in the US and they are reasonably priced. So set a date with some friends and promise them a soirée to remember.
Thanks again to the French Ministry of Agriculture for sponsoring this post. And thank YOU for supporting the brands that support Mid-Life Croissant.