Our regular feature devoted to exceptional foods and drinks is enriched by these three exclusive products: an excellent and aromatic French liqueur, the best blue cheese in the world, and unique ancient mushrooms that captivate from the first bite.
St. Germain liqueur
The sweet allure of wild elderflowers
The manufacturing process of this French liqueur always starts hastily in a sort of race against time. It is essential to harvest wild elderflowers at their peak, which is only possible for a few weeks in spring before they lose their ephemeral and fragrant aroma. For that reason, each St. Germain liqueur bottle is individually numbered to indicate the year the flowers were collected. St. Germain comes in an elegant bottle with octagonal sculptural design, conceived as a tribute to the Parisian suburb of Saint Germain-des-Prés during the Art Deco and the Belle Époque periods. Careful maceration techniques are used to maintain the freshness of the product’s remarkable organoleptic properties. The resulting spirit has a well-balanced and exquisitely refined flavor. The sublime bouquet of the St. Germain has hints of pear, peach, and grapefruit; although it contains none of them. It has a subtle, delicate and captivating flavor.
Cueva del Molín Cheese
The best blue cheese in the world
Cabrales is a blue cheese made in the Principality of Asturias, Spain, from cow, goat or sheep’s raw milk. It is considered one of the most delightful blue cheeses in the world, along with the English Stilton, the French Roquefort, and the Italian Gorgonzola. Cabrales Cueva del Molín, made with milk from the Central Asturiana Dairy company has just been voted the best cheese in the world at the World Cheese Awards 2014 competition, one of the most prestigious events in the international gastronomic scene. In the competition´s 26th edition, held in London, Cabrales Cueva del Molín was one of the major players, winning the gold medal in the Blue Cheese Ripened in Cave category, thus becoming the best blue cheese in the world. It is a completely handmade product with PDO, made with raw cow’s milk, and matured in a natural cave with a three-month aging process. Its intense, sour and slightly spicy flavor make it a memorable experience for cheese lovers.
A Japanese luxury
Matsutake mushrooms are one of the major components of the ancient Japanese culinary traditions. They are highly valued by the world’s greatest chefs for their intense aroma of spices and unmatched texture. The annual Matsutake harvest in Japan is limited since they grow near pine trees, and the habitat for the pines is getting smaller. These mushrooms do not grow in greenhouses, which makes them even scarcer; hence their high price, which can exceed $1,300 per lb. You can taste them at some of the best Japanese restaurants in the world, since— though possible— it is rare to find them in supermarkets and gourmet stores, especially if they are the first of the season, which always have higher demand. ■