Metro Gift Guide 2019: French-Inspired Gifts For Your Foodie Loved One
Got a hangover from watching The Crawl France? Here's how you can indulge in the French experience
The first episode of the Metro Channel TV special, The Crawl France, has just premiered, and now we’ve got a major hankering for all things French as we watched Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez and Jhonel Faelnar visit some of the best food and wine spots that France has to offer.
Do you want some fine French chocolates after Steph’s visit to Manufacture du Chocolat Alain Ducasse? Or pick a fine bottle of bubbly for your next Christmas party? Maybe you’d like to share some fantastic cold cuts and cheese with a loved one? Here are our food suggestions, as inspired by The Crawl France. Each one is guaranteed to satisfy your French cravings!
In France, they say, “Un repas sans fromage c’est comme une journée sans soleil.” A meal without cheese is like a day without sunshine. And France has the most diverse variety of cheeses from its northern regions all the way to the south.
If you’re building a charcuterie platter, start with these five French cheeses: Comté, Camembert, Roquefort, Brie, and Chèvre. This way you’ll have a combination of hard and soft cheeses, from mild to strong, made from the milk of cow, sheep, and goat.
Check out Santis Delicatessen for these cheeses. They have branches all over the metro.
Confit de canard or duck confit is undoubtedly one of the finest French dishes. In regions like Gascony, it is still prepared the traditional way, as it has been for centuries. Salt-curing the duck for up to 48 hours is an essential part of the cooking, with no shortcuts allowed. Steph and Jhonel enjoyed some exquisite confit de canard from one of Steph’s favorite restaurants in Paris, the Café du Marché.
If you have the tenacity to cook this magnificent dish, it will definitely be a showstopper at any party. Or, you might want to give duck to a friend with the culinary expertise to make confit de canard, in which case you can get excellent frozen organic whole ducks from Real Food.
Good Quality Coffee
The French take their espresso seriously, and their coffee-drinking culture is one of the most robust and discerning in the world. That’s why it’s no surprise that coffee giant Starbucks found it hard to penetrate the country. Steph and Jhonel dropping by Le Café Alain Ducasse to experience the gourmet way of preparing and drinking coffee, inspired us to take our coffee more seriously.
The experience may be hard to replicate in the Philippines, since Alain Ducasse uses rare beans sourced from far-flung places in the globe, but you can at least trust the handcrafted coffees from Edsa Beverage Design Group. Dedicated to developing beverages using the best and freshest ingredients—coffee, included—these people study and love coffee like no other.
The coffee lover in your life will love an Edsa BDG Coffee Subscription that delivers freshly roasted, handpicked coffee straight to his or her doorstep. They also have a seasonal blend called Fruit Cake, made with 60% natural processed specialty coffee from the La Isabela, Costa Rica estate, and 40% washed processed konga beans from Ethiopia.
The Wholesome TableValrhona is known all over the world for its premium chocolates, and is a favorite of many chocolatiers. It's base is found in the small town of Tain-l'Hermitage in Hermitage, France, and The Crawl team was fortunate enough get to visit. A little tidbit of information: in 2017, DTI announced that Valrhona will be sourcing its cacao from Davao—a testament to the excellent quality of Philippine cacao!
While it’s hard to access commercial-grade Valrhona in Manila, it’s easy enough to find good confectioneries and restaurants that make pastries and sweets using this premium chocolate brand. For your Christmas gifts, why not grab some gluten-free Valrhona cookies from The Wholesome Table, or the darkly decadent Mah-Mah-My Valrhona Chocolate Cake from Cupcakes by Sonja, or Bizu Patisserie's handmade chocolate truffles made with pure Valrhona chocolate.
Ladurée did not make it to the final cut of The Crawl France, but the team made sure to drop by a Ladurée store while in Paris. Once a humble bakery built in 1862, Ladurée later became a pioneering tea salon during the Second French Empire, and is now as home to the finest macarons in the world.
Gift a box of Ladurée macarons from Ladurée Philippines, located at 8 Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center.
Did you know that a champagne can’t be called champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region in France? The Crawl France made sure to drop by this historic region to learn more about the culture and history of this sparkling wine.
One of Steph's favorite discoveries from the wine tour of Champagne is the Rare Rosé, a subtle champagne that starts fruity and citrusy on the palate, before developing vibrant smoky notes. It's called rare for the vintage; the bottle poured for Steph and Jhonel was a 2008 Rare Rosé Millésime.
Thankfully, you don’t need to go to Champagne for a taste of this rosé champagne. Premium Wine Exchange (PWX), located in Makati City, has the vintage rose in their portfolio. You can order the same 2008 vintage Rare Rosé Millésime for P20,000 at PWX.
For more conservative budgets, opt a champagne from Piper-Heidsieck, one of the most popular brands of champagne, and a favorite brand at many Hollywood events. A bottle of Piper-Heidsieck is made following a meticulous process and with a lot of patience—but it’s good to know that this champagne readily available anywhere in the world.
Tasting a 2019 Piper-Heidsieck straight from its tank is one of Jhonel’s favorite experiences of the whole trip. You can experience this champagne, too, by grabbing a Piper-Heidsieck Vintage Brut bottle from Premium Wine Exchange. A bottle costs P3,100, which is the most expensive in the Piper-Heidsieck lineup of PWX.