Elegance in your glass
Veuve Clicquot, the famous champagne label founded in 1772, presents the most lovely gift for the Holidays: Fashionably Cliquot, a bubbly rooted in the world of French haute couture. The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label sports a very distinctive design shaped like a pleated skirt—complete with top stitch seams—and looks like it just came out of a fashion show in Paris. Also, the case becomes an original cooler for this elegant champagne with fine bubbles and intense floral and citrus aromas, made with pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes. Its elegant taste combines perfectly with fish, seafood and sushi.
The world’s most expensive potatoes
When we think of expensive foods, the first things that come to mind are products like caviar, white truffles, seafood or some elusive Japanese matsutake mushrooms, just to name a few, but it is most unlikely that we would include potatoes in that list of the world’s most expensive foods. La Bonnotte is a particular variety of potato grown only on the island of Noirmoutier in the Atlantic Ocean, in the French region of Pays de la Loire. Its production is very low—yielding just about 100 tons per year. Also, the harvest is difficult because the plant is strong and vigorous, so the potatoes can only be collected by experienced hands. The ecological cultivation of these unique potatoes depends on heavy fertilization. This is done using native seaweed collected on the island. The seaweed also transfers peculiar and intense salty and mineral notes to the small tubercles. Since it is not an attractive and profitable activity for large agricultural companies, a group of small farmer—in love with the flavors of yesteryear—has been responsible for its cultivation. It is always sown in February and harvested in May. This unique product is hardly available in supermarkets. Immediately after collection the potatoes are sent to the finest restaurants in France, where they are prepared by top chefs. Two pounds of Bonnotte potatoes can easily exceed US $750, and even at those prices they go very fast.
Bitto Storico Cheese
A rare gem from the Alps
Bitto Storico is an alpine cheese made from raw milk, which means it is not pasteurized. It is produced in 12 mountain pastures of the foothills of the Orobie Alps of Lombardy, Italy, also known as the Pre-Alps area. The cheese has a cylindrical shape with a regular diameter of 15 to19 inches and a weight that ranges between 18 and 40 pounds. Its paste is compact with holes, and the color can vary from white to pale yellow depending on its age. It is made with fresh milk from cows and Orobica goats fed with grasses grown at high altitudes. It can be aged for more than ten years without losing its organoleptic properties, and its taste is acidic, deep and powerful, somehow similar to that of the Parmesan or Spanish Manchego. In the north of Italy, Christmas dinner often ends with a Bitto Storico, nuts and a glass of grappa. These are three unique products to add to your Christmas shopping list. ■