The delicious. team’s 11 favourite French food buys

The delicious. team share some of their all-time favourite French products from producers big and small. Our best food buys include classic pork rillettes, top butter for baking and the croissants to keep stashed in your freezer…

The delicious. team’s 11 favourite French food buys

French food products worth knowing about

1. Really good rillettes

Reflets de France is a top-quality French brand, offering a wide range of heritage products, but Pollyanna on the delicious. food team loves the rich pork rillettes, made with free-range meat. She’d only eaten them in France and, on discovering they’re available in the UK, announced “I’m THRILLED.” The perfect supper with cornichons and crusty bread. £3.60 for 220g, available from Ocado



2, 3 & 4. Plaudits for Picard

delicious. magazine’s emigré columnist Debora Robertson is ebullient about French frozen food retailer Picard – and so are we! Vic, head of digital, loves Picard’s frozen spinach with cream, while managing editor Les is in awe of the brand’s Superior margherita pizza. “It’s a cliché to say it’s as good as a takeaway,” he says, “but add a few basil leaves when it’s out of the oven and, with that thin, soft-crisp base, rich tomato sauce and perfectly melted mini-mozzarella balls, it really is hard to tell the difference.”

Sub-editor Steph always gives space in her “miniscule” freezer to Picard’s soft, light, buttery croissants. She says: “They’re better than I can get at my local fancy coffee shop any day.” Picard organic chopped spinach with cream, £3.30 for 600g; Superior margherita pizza, £5.30 for 420g; croissants with Charentes butter, £4.60 for 8; all available from Ocado


5. The Chanel of cocoa

Deputy digital editor Thea Everett says no chocolate cake had ever wowed her – until she used classy Valrhona cocoa, beloved of chefs and food writers. “Boy does this pack a punch,” she says. “It’s what’s known as dutch- processed, meaning it’s washed to neutralise the acidity, making for a deeper colour and a smoother flavour. If brownies and fancy choc cakes are your thing, this cocoa might just change your life.” Valrhona cocoa powder, £10.95 for 250g, available from Sous Chef


6 & 7. Spread the word

Sneak a peek in the delicious. team’s cupboards and you’ll find the familiar gingham lids of Bonne Maman jars. Les Dunn loves the hazelnut chocolate spread (below), which “uses real hazelnuts and no palm oil. Combine it with the Picard croissants (above) and you’re in Saturday morning nirvana”.

Bonne Maman’s apricot compote is a mainstay in editor Karen’s kitchen: “It’s excellent for cake fillings and crumbles, or to go with yogurt for breakfast.” Bonne Maman apricot compote, £3.75 for 370g, available from Tesco; Bonne Maman hazelnut chocolate spread, £3.25 for 250g, available from Tesco


8. Butter for baking

Old stager Président unsalted butter is also a must-have for Karen, who says: “Years ago I did a cookery course at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons and was advised that it’s brilliant for baking. I use British butter for everything else, but not pastry and cakes – I can recognise the smell of Président blindfolded.” Président unsalted butter, £2.85 for 250g, available from Waitrose


9. Posh salt

Fleur de sel is salt crystals harvested traditionally from evaporating seawater, and a saunier is the person skilled in raking up the ‘white gold’. Le Saunier de Camargue fleur de sel comes from Provence’s coastal national park, famous for its flamingos and wild horses. Pollyanna says: “It’s a finishing salt, which means it shouldn’t be used in cooking, but sprinkle it over a dish and you’ll appreciate the delicate flavour and crisp-crunchy texture. I love it on fresh ripe tomatoes.” Le Saunier de Camargue fleur de sel, £4.30 for 125g, available from Ocado


10. Coffee time

Editor Karen (who’s from French Huguenot stock) is a long-time fan of French biscuits, so she was eager to do a tasting when the LU range launched in the UK. The cakey lemon biscuits (“soft, citrussy and densely spongy, like mini lemon drizzles”) are her favourite. Plus, she adds, “they come in individually wrapped foil pouches – ideal for lunch boxes… or for helping you stop at just one!” LU Le Petit Citron, from £1.70 for 5 biscuits (140g), available from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado


11. Cheating on the side

Okay, it’s not actually made in France, but it is a French dish… Editor Karen says: “Dauphinois is my go-to please-all side dish, but when I don’t have time to do all that slicing (see our ultimate recipe) Charlie Bigham’s version, from the brand’s new range of side dishes, slots in nicely.” Charlie Bigham’s potato dauphinoise, £4.50 for 450g (serves 2), available from Tesco


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