Monday 5 November 2012

A foodie Tour de France in Fallon and Byrne

FYI these gorgeous tomatoes aren't French. Pretty, aren't they?

Fallon & Byrne is a foodie’s heaven, located on Exchequer Street in the heart of Dublin. You have no idea how happy I was when they opened a few years ago and how I fell in love with this shop. It reminds me of the “épiceries fines” (fine food stores) back home.

They sell everything you could ever need to cook beautiful dishes. They have a wide section of fruits you’d never find in your regular supermarket: white asparagus, red bananas, elephant garlic, purple cauliflowers, tiger tomatoes, etc… They sell high quality Irish products as well as products from everywhere in the world. From spices to sushi ingredients, from Irish honey to American cereals, from bacon jam to falafel mix, it’s impossible not to find what you’re looking for.

They also have a cheese/charcuterie/antipasti counter, meat and poultry counter and also a fish counter. Their deli counter is a great place to get gourmet sandwiches, beautiful salads and also hot dishes. They sell cakes and pastries that you can enjoy in the sitting area in the corner of the food hall for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon treat.

As well as fine food, they sell an amazing selection of wine in their cellar and also serve food in their restaurant (their pre-theatre menu is served all night Monday to Friday).

Obliviously it’s vital for the economy to buy local Irish products and Fallon & Byrne sell the best of Irish them. However, this blog isn’t called French Foodie in Dublin for nothing and this post is about finding a little bit of my native land in Fallon & Byrne since their food hall always transports me on a “Tour de France”. Tour de France is the name of the cycling competition but also means “touring France” since the cyclists travel all around the country.

Here we go, put your “maillot jaune” on (yellow jersey worn by the winner of the cycling competition that goes all around France) and follow me through the different French regions that produce these lovely products found in Fallon and Byrne.

-    Moutarde de Dijon (Dijon mustard): the most famous mustard in France produced in a city called Dijon in the Burgundy region. It’s a lovely accompaniment to meat and also is great to use for French salad dressing.

-    Lentille verte du Puy (Green lentils): produced in the Auvergne region. Lentils are rich in magnesium and iron and are delicious with duck confit or used in salads.

-    Sirops Monin (syrups): they’re from my hometown Bourges and I love them. You see them in bars or coffee shops everywhere around the world. They’re perfect for making the most amazing cocktails. They have a few different flavours in Fallon and Byrne but where I come from you can get so many different flavours you wouldn’t imagine: salted caramel, poppy flower, blood orange, pumpkin pie and so on. They’re celebrating their 100th birthday this year. Joyeux anniversaire Monin!

-    Saucissons: F&B sells a few French saucissons (dry cured sausage) from the Pyrenees and the Alps. I tried the delicious Fig one but hey have hazelnut, boar or even green pepper saucisson. Highly recommended!

-    Confit de canard du Perigord: indulge yourself with this lovely duck confit from the South of France. Eat it with cassoulet or potatoes cooked in duck fat and a green salad. Not the lightest but surely the tastiest!

-    Fleur de Sel de Guérande: this salt is harvested in the west of France in the Brittany region following an old tradition that has been kept alive for thousands of years. It’s commonly used by  foodies and chefs.

-    Crème de marrons Clément Faugier: my favourite chestnut spread, created in 1885 in the Ardeche region. It’s sweet and delicious on French crepes or on some bread.

-    Merguez sausages (at the meat counter): I was so happy to discover this one day, they are spicy sausages that people usually eat in a North African dish called “Couscous”. French people grill them on barbecues during the summer and love them.

The list could be endless.  In addition to the shelves, the cheese counter and wine cellar are also full of French products.

I don’t only eat French food of course, but thought you might like this post if you’re a French expat or even a French food lover. I tend to buy Irish products to help the economy and support local food producers. There are some fabulous Irish products in Fallon and Byrne that I fell in love with  such as Hick’s Bacon jam, Janets Country Fayre chutneys (beetroot blush and chutney for cheese and wine are my fav), Corleggy cheese, Karmine apple juice and many more.

Fallon and Byrne’s food hall is definitely at the top of my Dublin foodie spots list and has everything I ever wished to eat/bake/cook.
If you wish to treat yourself to fine food: this is the place!

Fallon and Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street,
Dublin 2