The virtues of French bread have long been extolled, but what do you put on yours? Whether you prefer spreads, jam or honey, Albert Menès knows about condiments better than most
Gastronomic delights of Brittany
It all began more than 100 years ago, in 1921. Young Albert had recently returned from his latest navy adventure and was excited to rediscover the gastronomic pleasures of his childhood on the coast of Brittany. However, he still dreamt of the flavours and aromas he’d encountered on his travels – and it sparked a plan. He decided he would bring the exotic fragrances he had sampled in faraway lands to the French gourmet world. Albert founded his namesake company, and it’s been delighting the discerning palates of foodies ever since.
Nowadays, there is less of the ‘other worldliness’, and more of France’s traditional regional delights in Albert Menès’ products, but the principle remains the same: creating condiments and spreads that bring together delicious, authentic flavours of the highest quality. The company also offers a wide range of herbs and spices from around the world.
Jam: not just for toast
One of Albert Menès’ most notable lines is the company’s jams. This sweet, fruity delicacy is not new in France; in fact, legend has it that Louis XIV was so partial to jam, that he insisted it was brought out at the end of every meal – whatever it was! It’s a shame he was before Albert Menès’ time, as he would almost certainly have enjoyed the sweet-yet-tart taste of Provençal figs. This particular jam is just as welcome with cheeses such as brie, as it is spread on toast at breakfast.
A taste of Provence
In Provence, the bees feed on lavender flowers. This imbues their honey with a distinctive taste that can transport you to the region of sunflowers, sunshine and, of course, lavender, any time you spread it onto your baguette.
As well as its delicate, typically French taste, Albert Menès’ lavender honey comes with some potential health benefits. It’s brimming with luteolin, an antioxidant which boosts the immune system and can even offer your eyes protection from UV rays. Honey comes in a variety of forms to suit your individual tastes. Miel de Provence brings a flavour of the south to your plate and is made using the famous lavender flowers that are so iconic in the region as well as thyme, rosemary.
It’s not just Provence, though; Albert Menès produces honey from the mountainous Auvergne region and other parts of France, taking advantage of the unique offerings across the country. However you like your honey – thick and unctuous, or liquid and more pourable, Albert Menès’s honey producers always respect ethical practices to bring a range of different varieties to your plate.
Delicious paired with goat’s cheese, honey can be added to a range of both sweet and savoury recipes, and even stirred into teas (or “tisanes”) in place of sugar.
At BonneBouffe, we stock a range of Albert Menès’ products. They have a long shelf-life, which means they’re perfect to have in the cupboard for any time you need that little taste of gourmet France to lift your spirits.