Tag Archives: Gourmet

Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve: Product Review

Having a good variety of condiments and spices at your disposal is one of the greatest ingredients to tasty and easy cooking. While I usually prefer to rely on individual spices rather then blends, as it gives me more leeway, one of the exceptions I make is Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve. I use it in a variety of recipes, such as my delicious creamy pan-fried salmon. One of the most defining features of Les Herbes Salees, is that, as their name strongly implies (if you speak French) the blend tastes extremely salty.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Making Herbes Salées is apparently pretty easy; a quick Google search will reveal plenty of recipes, but frankly these are so delicious and inexpensive that I see no point in buying and chopping and dealing with all those different herbs and salt. I buy it, it tastes great, is easy to use just about everywhere and it saves me a bunch of trouble.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salées can be used just about everywhere, but the packaging recommends using it in soups, gravies, with fish and meat dishes such as pies, roast beef, ground meats, stews and meatloaf, as well as with pasta, rice, omelets and mashed potatoes. In fact, anywhere you’d add salt, consider using these. It’s much tastier and just as salty. Maybe more so.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

As you can see in the picture above, each 15 gram portion contains 880 mg of sodium, which is not that much when you consider how salty this stuff actually is. Here are the ingredients that4 go in this particular brand of Herbes Salées:

  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Parsley
  • Chervil
  • Savory
  • Leek
  • Chives
  • Spinach

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve were born from a need to save herbs over the winter months; there are as many recipes for them as they are people making them. A quick internet search will show that much. If you’re interested in making your own, you can follow this recipe, which is wonderful in its absence of details. Also, you’ll need to read French. If enough people show interest, I’ll post a translated version here.

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence: Product Review

I’ve been really impressed with the Rodelle products I had the opportunity to buy at Costco, especially the Gourmet Baking Cocoa, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. I was therefore really happy when I saw that my Costco also stocked the Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence, which is a Gourmet Herb Blend. I really enjoy cooking French food and eating it, so I figured this would be a great addition to my pantry.

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

First off, let’s talk about price. This is Costco we’re talking about, so it’s all about the best deal, the best price and the best value. The Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence comes in a 108 gram container, which is about 3.8 ounces, and costs $7.89 at my local Costco. This comes down to about 2 dollars per ounce, which is not expensive for a gourmet herb blend.

This Rodelle product is Made in the USA, and contains the following ingredients:

  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Lavender

I know that some Herbes de Provence blend don’t include Lavender, but I find that it brings a hint of freshness that is quite incomparable, so I like it just like that.

So what can those herbs be used for? Are they used only in traditional French cuisine? Absolutely not! While that’s where they find their roots, les Herbes de Provence have transcended their origins and can be used just about anywhere. Check out this Huffington Post article for some inspiration!

In short, they are great for grilling or roasting meat – particularly awesome with a roast leg of lamb, or shoulder – but are equally at home with seafood and fish, or simply on roasted potatoes. You can even make a really good dip using nothing but Herbes de Provence, sour cream and mayonnaise!

When you’re next at Coscto, make sure you pick up Rodelle’s Classic Herbes de Provence. It’s an easy and affordable way to add hint of la Cote d’Azur to your cooking!

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt: Product Review

One of the reasons that I love shopping at Costco, besides my 2% Executive Membership cash back, is that exposes me to all sorts of products I would not necessarily have bought before, and not only that, does so at a price that I can afford to try new things. Take the Fleur de Sel de Guérande, for example. This is truly a gourmet, high-end product that sells for many times the price in grocery stores and specialized stores, but  that I can buy for a very affordable price at Costco.

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt

This 125 gram (4.4 oz) container of Fleur de Sel de Guérande, straight from France, was priced at $5.69 at Costco. That’s in Canadian dollars, too. You can get similar items on Amazon for about twice the price, if you were so inclined. In grocery stores, the price rises steeply. These people have overhead to carry.

The real question, however, is this one: why on God’s green earth should you get this salt? You can buy iodized seal salt for a quarter of the price, at Costco or elsewhere. Salt is salt, right? No need to be difficult, right? It makes food salty.

That’s where you’d be wrong. If salt is salt, then help yourself to a 20-kilogram bag of rock salt for the driveway for three bucks, and put that in your food. Salt’s salt, right? Ha ha. Not quite.

Fleur de Sel, or Natural Flower Sea Salt, is collected by hand in Bretagne, France, following methods going back a thousand years. It is not cleaned, bleached, or crushed in any way and retains an indescribable texture and flavor.

Just to be clear, this is not the kind of salt that you add to a recipe when they ask for a ‘pinch of salt’. It’s not something you put in the water when you’re cooking pasta, unless you’ve got no sense and money to burn. Regular plain table salt is just fine for those purposes. Fleur de Sel is destined to greater things. Leave it on the table for your guests to sprinkle directly on their food, where they can appreciate fully the texture and taste.

Getting a salt of this quality, at this price, is a really cool thing. It is nothing like the Greek Kalas sea salt you can get at Costco and elsewhere. Fleur de Sel de Guérande is something you should have in your pantry or spice rack to give your guests a real taste of something special.

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa at Costco: Product Review

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not the baker in our house. This honor belongs to my wife, so she is much more familiar with baking ingredients than I am. That being said, I have gathered her thoughts about this product, and I can confidently write a product review! I’m talking, of course, of the excellent Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa, which is available in many places, but which we buy at Costco, because it is dirt cheap there, and it helps us maximize our membership and our Executive 2% Cash Back.

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa

First, let’s talk about price. This 700 gram container of Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa, when purchased at Costco, costs $8.99. This may not seem significant, but you can buy the exact same thing on Amazon for anywhere from $25 to $35. If you need baking cocoa for cakes, hot chocolate, brownies or anything else where cocoa is needed, then just buying this twice a year can cover the costs of your Costco membership!

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Nutrition Facts

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa Nutrition Facts

My wife uses this cocoa in just about anything, but what she uses it most of all is when making hot chocolate. Using cocoa and sugar, as opposed to a prepared mix, really allows you to control the taste. You can get it as sweet or as bitter as you like it. She likes it bitter, I love it sweet, so we can both get our wish quickly and easily, and for a fraction of the price or prepared hot chocolate.

The baking cocoa is also incredible in brownies and chocolate cakes, which are my wife’s specialty. She doesn’t make them too often, because we would just eat cake until we explode, or eat a whole tray of brownies in one sitting.

Now that I’m saying it like that, and reading over what I wrote, it’s a wonder we’re not both severely overweight.

My dad, who is well into his 70’s and a lifelong fan of decadent chocolate cake, declared a few years ago that my wife made the best chocolate cake he’d ever eaten. It might not sound like a big deal, because you don’t know him, but it is.

When it comes to nutrition, just have a look at the nutrition facts above. I’m not going to bother going through it with a fine-tooth comb, because there is no point.

This is cocoa, not a chocolate bar.

Similarly, the list of ingredients can be summed up in one word: Cocoa. There you have it.

The Rodelle Gourmet Baking Chocolate is not only delicious, it’s also a great deal, if you buy it at Costco. As a bonus, I’m happy to include a picture of the official Rodelle Fudge Brownies recipe, as printed on the side of the cocoa container. Enjoy!

Rodelle Official Fudge Brownies Recipe

Rodelle Official Fudge Brownies Recipe