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Houston Market Featuring Gallic Goodies
Sat May 12, 2012 10:02 pmForum Host
We've got all we need for our French picnic: a crusty boule, a creamy Camembert, saucisson sec, Picholine olives, a mille-feuille for dessert and, naturally, some wine - perhaps a lusty Grenache from the Rhône. And the best of all? We didn't have to leave Houston to get our hands on the best French products outside of France. They're all at Central Market.
Beginning today, Central Market launches Passport France, an intense, two-week immersion into the culinary soul of the country that has given us the pleasures of brie, baguettes and Burgundy wine. The third annual exploration of international foodstuffs (Argentina and Spain already have been scoured), Passport France will bring about 400 new products to the marketplace beyond the French products already stocked on Central Market's abundant shelves. Those new products include 40 new French cheeses, 40 new French breads and pastries, 300 new French wines and assorted candy, sausages, vegetables and even seafood (langoustines, dorade, loup de mer, Dover sole and diver scallops with coral attached).
"Our European customers are going to go nuts," said store manager Phil Myers, who traveled to France with the Central Market teams to find goods and visit producers featured during Passport France, which runs through May 22.
But it's not just European customers who will be thrilled with all of the Gallic gourmet goodies. It's a chance for foodies and even casual lovers of French cuisine and wine to nibble and sip their way through the country. Free in-store food and wine tastings will be held daily in addition to special paid events with legendary food and wine professionals.
Central Market has worked all year since the previous Passport to learn as much as possible about gourmet French foodstuffs and wine in order to make this year's event a true trip through France.
"Each year it's a more developed program as we learn to work with different countries. I think we're getting better at understanding the countries and getting the most out of the relationships we have," Myers said. "We're not just interested in the stuff our customers have already seen. We want to present new things. The food of the everyday French menu is more interesting to us than haute cuisine, so we have to dig a little deeper. It's what we want to capture."
After the promotion, a number of the special products will stay on store shelves, including some of the new breads, cheeses and wine which provide the backbone of this year's series.
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