Restaurant LuLu is putting its Provencal products in packaged form. From Honey and marmalade on the sweet side, to vinegar and aioli on the other, the restaurant's condiments are spreading through the air -- airlines, specifically, as you can now buy portions of the collection at the Napa Farms Market in Terminal 2 at SFO.
The eatery's preparations embody the essence of the Provencal palate, and with the new airport outlet should spread San Francisco's version of Provence throughout the country. Here's our take on a few items from the line:
White Truffle Honey
A classic pairing, on its own, or re-paired with cheese. The flavor of white truffle is intense and exceptional, pushing the honey back into the role of delivery vehicle -- and a slight influencer of flavor with the mild sweetness and a light buttery note. White truffles are the king of the breed, reigning high above the lessor duke of dark, the black truffle, and they carry the price because of it. The honey is a great way to get the intense white truffle flavor without the intense cost.
The honey is an excellent pairing for a pale, hard cheese like Parmigianino, Grana Padano, or my new favorite, Casa Madaio Caprotto, an aged goat cheese that tastes of black pepper and keeps you coming back. Cypress Grove's Truffle Tremor could make an interesting combination.
Preserved Meyer Lemon in Olive Oil
Bright, but meaty, with a texture and flavor verging on chopped olives mixed with meyer rind. Only very lightly citric, heavily to the savory side. They reccomend this as an ingredient for fish, risotto or chicken, though using it as a finishing element seems more appropriate.
Creamy, with dense little nibs of garlic that delivers a roasted character. Dense in consistency but light in flavor. LuLu's recommendation of a topper for tuna (fresh from your summer grill) seems the best use.
Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Open the bottle for the scent of a trip through an ancient European wine cellar.The vinegar is intense enough to leave the fig behind, but it peeks through a bit, and a n overall spiciness (baking spices and worcestershire) make for a pleasant presentation that finishes mildly of the fig. Use as you would any balsamic, though it's not really a sipper. Or use it as a worcestershire sauce alternative for meat, with pork chops being LuLu's recommendation.