It’s sometimes surprising to think of London as France’s sixth biggest city, with a French population greater than centres like Bordeaux or Nantes. With so many French people living here, Monsieur included, there’s a definite demand for French food to stave off their homesickness for familiar edibles. Factor in a large population of Francophiles and the market grows unquantifiably larger. Even Ocado, the supermarket delivery service, has seen fit to introduce French supermarket staple brand Reflets de France to its warehouse shelves.
Now there’s a new kid on London’s French food block, called Bonjour French Food. For a monthly subscription fee of £29.00 (express delivery direct from France included) you can elect to receive their boxes of French food products, one per month, each with a theme. Each box contains between five and seven French food products for you to try, along with a little bilingual magazine crammed full of product information, recipes and food news. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can always order one-off boxes for £31.00, either for yourself or as a gift, and if you’re feeling particularly generous you can arrange gift subscriptions of multiple months. Bonjour French Food can also arrange for corporate gift quantities, if required.
October’s Bonjour French Food box had the theme of l’apéro, the French institution of pre-prandial drinks with a snack. Here’s what it contained:
- petits sablés, little buttery biscuits a bit like French shortbread, only not nearly so chunky,
- chocolate fondant pudding mix by the brand of Par Marlette, using all organic ingredients and a little salt from the pans on the exclusive Île de Ré,
- wild boar terrine blended with mandarin and rocket,
- duck breast terrine with honey and walnuts,
- dry sausage rolled in pepper – beautifully stinky, just as it should be,
- and a tomato, capsicum, anchovy and garlic spread.
When my box arrived, I was jiggling with excitement because I had no idea what might be inside. After carefully opening it I found that everything was safely wrapped in shredded paper with vibrant blue tissue and nothing was included that could have either broken or perished en route. The product sizes allow just enough for a taster or two for two people, although the pudding mix caters for up to six people. That works, though, because you wouldn’t serve the pudding with the apéritif; it’s really just a sweet extra to round off the box and give the glutton another occasion to sit down with French food, and a digestif, perhaps, at the other end of a meal?
After the unwrapping, and a good, hard sniff of that sausage, I worked my way through the little Bonjour French Food magazine, which is beautifully presented and includes background to the manufacturers of the box contents – particularly useful if you’re not familiar with the brand. The website is easy to navigate, there are opportunities to give box feedback via Facebook and Twitter, and there are competitions to win further products – for free!
If you’re keen to indulge with a Bonjour French Food box, there’s currently a £5.00 off code if you visit their website, http://www.bonjourfrenchfood.com
Follow Bonjour French Food on Twitter: @BonjourFrFood
**I received one Bonjour French Food box, free of charge, for the purposes of this review.