Culina Market

White Alba Truffles, Italy

Truffles are the jewels of Italian gastronomy and among them, the White Alba Truffles (or tuber magnatum pico) are the cream of the crop. Compared to the different varieties of black truffles, White Alba Truffles from Piedmont, Northern Italy, have a stronger aroma.

With a golden exterior and cream coloured flesh, these knobby tubers can be found growing around the roots of trees, mainly oak, chestnut, poplars, limes, hazel and beech trees and are usually harvested in autumn and early winter. Prized for their pungent yet intoxicating fragrance, the earthy beauties add incredible flavour when shaved on top of creamy tagliatelle or a classic gnocchi. They also turn the humble scrambled eggs into something extraordinary. White Alba Truffles are almost never cooked—the heat of the dish will bring out the intense perfume.

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Vacherin Mont d'Or, France

Often referred as the “the holy grail of raw milk cheeses”, the Vacherin Mont d’Or is truly a spectacular cheese. This artisanal pale yellow soft rich cheese is made from cow’s milk in France, usually in villages of the Jura region (an origin that has been officially controlled since 1981), and has a greyish-yellow washed rind.

Mont d’Or is a seasonal cheese with an AOC certification available from October to February. As the cheese is so soft and almost liquid after maturation, it is ripened and wrapped with a spruce bark, which adds a welcome woody note to the cheese. Packed in a characteristic spruce box, when matured, the cheese is full flavoured, slightly acidic, and is often served warm in its original packaging and enjoyed like a fondue. Once you pull a warm one out of the oven, and start eating it, it’s impossible to stop.

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Solliès Fig, France

Located in the region of Var, Provence, the basin of Solliès is a small area watered by the Gapeau River flowing peacefully between Toulon and Hyères. Here, Solliès figs are grown on fertile soil and carefully harvested for centuries by local labour. Solliès figs are the only AOC (appellation d’origine controlée) certified figs in France—meaning that the French government guarantees its origin. The AOC obtained in 2006 brings together hundreds of producers planting over an area of about 120 hectares.

The Solliès fig is a dense and firm fruit shaped like a teardrop with a diameter of approximately 40 to 70 mm. Its dark purplish to black, ribbed exterior hides a thin and pale green receptacle that holds fleshy pulp resembling luscious strawberry jam with many thin beige seeds. Reflecting the terroir of the area, the plump Solliès figs offer vegetal aromas of watermelon and other red fruits, as well as lovely floral notes. On the palate, it has a characteristic tangy and sweet balance. The bulbous fruit contains a sugar Brix level of 14 to 26 degrees. As such, the Solliès fig is the perfect foil to seared foie gras, game meat and pork. Drizzle balsamic vinegar, wrap with slices of prosciutto, roast it with Roquefort, serve it with ham and picnic cheeses as hors d'oeuvre, or bake it into crumbly tarts and dollop over vanilla ice cream.

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Bouchot Mussels, France

Bouchot moules is the only mussel in France that has the coveted Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designation. Given to food whose characteristics are uniquely related to its place of origin, these mussels are considered a luxury ingredient in France, and other parts of Europe.

They are harvested between July and January in France’s Mont St Michel Bay where the water spans the borders of Brittany and Normandy. The bivalves grow on wooden pillars (bouchot) anchored into the seabed. At high tide, they thrive underwater, while at low tide, they are exposed to the salty ocean air, hence their delicious briny flavour. The small to medium-sized mussels have plump and firm orange-yellow flesh. Cook them with white wine, chopped garlic and parsley, and serve with French fries.

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Mara Des Bois Strawberries, France

Carefully developed in France, Mara Des Bois strawberries are round, conical-shaped berries in a deep red. Glossy in appearance with prominent seeds, its sweet flavour and intensely fragrant aroma are perfect in fruit tarts, shortcakes, and crepes. Alternatively, serve it simply on cheese plates or with fresh cream. Mara Des Bois can be cooked down to make sauces, syrups, and fillings for macarons, croissants, sorbets, and ice cream. Macerated Mara Des Bois can also be used in beverages such as mimosas, cocktails and summer spritzers. Mara Des Bois have a very short shelf life and should be consumed as soon as possible.

Retail price: Kindly approach our Culina Market Manager for more details.