Bakery · Dessert · French · Restaurants

Le Picquenic and Peasant Cheese – Valentine’s Day

I told L I was taking care of our Valentine’s Day plans. He looked suspiciously skeptical and I knew he thought I was tricking him again. I swear, give your spouse a test the occasional time and he’ll never forget his lesson. I actually didn’t have any sinister plans. Quite the opposite. I felt that after 10 years of taking me out for Valentine’s Day, I could do something he liked. For this post, let’s listen to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Franki Valli.

I ordered L a Valentine’s Tea Box ($34 per set) because I thought it would appeal to his British sensibilities. I was impressed with Le Picquenic special touches, like the card, ribbon, and flowers on the box.

The Kyoto cherry rose tea was lovely. The tea smelled sweet and fragrant. You could taste and smell the roses and what I thought was almond.

The cucumbers in my heart shaped sandwich were thinly sliced. I thought I could taste a hint of dill and perhaps cream cheese.

The egg salad was a classic high noon tea sandwich. The filling was creamy and eggy, pressed between two slices of soft white bread.

L enjoyed the turkey and cucumber croissant. He thought it was a delicate bite. I found the croissant sweet.

The prosciutto and brie canapé was tasty. There was a lot of prosciutto in one bite and I enjoyed the saltiness from the meat.

The blueberry scone was baked just the way I like it – a little dry and crumbly. I like that texture because the butter tastes creamier against a crustier surface. The jam added a smidge of sweetness to the savoury scone.

The cream puff was my favourite of the bunch. The whipped cream inside the pastry was puffy and cloud-like.

For dinner, I ordered a Valentine’s Cheese Platter ($50) from Peasant Cheese. For this occasion, Peasant Cheese added macarons and cannelé from the French bakery Yann Boutique. What a spread! The presentation, quality of cheeses and assortment of condiments and crackers is bar none. In the dozen or so times I’ve ordered from Peasant Cheese, I’ve always been impressed.

I’ve ordered the mixed cheese plates before and I usually get olives, pickles and other sour and tart accompaniments. This time around, we were treated to dried fruit like apricots, figs, and other candied treats. I loved the radish slices and pea shoots. I wrapped each radish slice with brie and ate it like a wrap.

There was so much food on this platter, we only managed to eat a third of it. We left the remaining amount to be snacked on in the following days. I know that recently, people are building their own cheese plates. Personally, I cannot make one as pretty as Peasant Cheese. Food also tastes better when you don’t make it. Hitting the Sauce gives Peasant Cheese two fat thumbs up.

Restaurants

Peasant Cheese Shop

9:20 a.m. on a Friday morning and I was already thinking about dinner. I didn’t want to go out or cook. I thought I would be considerate for once and do something I know L would enjoy. At 10:00 a.m., I called Peasant Cheese Shop to order a mixed cheese and meat platter ($25). For this post, let’s listen to Bus-ta Rhymes “Gimme Some More”.

The Mélange a Trois ($25) platter includes two cheeses, one meat, crackers and garnishes. When I called to place my order, I was informed that the store requests customers order 24 hours in advance. The male on the phone said he could prepare me a plate by that afternoon, but he would have to use a disposable tray instead of a wooden platter

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L said that Peasant Cheese’s rules doesn’t leave much for spontaneity, and a cheese shop should know a thing or two about romance. I told L that this popular cheese shop is too busy for procrastinators. When I arrived at 3:00 p.m., the shop was packed.

train back

I decided to save some money by taking transit back home. On the first train, I stood by several hungry U of C students. A young Asian man looked particularly impressed and eyed my platter.

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I wanted to tell him that this was nothing – Peasant Cheese offers much more elaborate spreads and if pre-orders, he can get it on a nice wooden tray.

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The second train wasn’t as busy. I got a seat this time but my arms were getting tired and I was starting to wish I splurged $15 for an Uber.

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It started to get really windy and I was clutching the plastic cover to prevent the platter from blowing away. Luckily, L came and picked me up so I didn’t have to walk another 11 minutes.

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The garnishes made the two cheeses and one meat into a meal. The platter included green olives, figs, currents, physalis, tart cornichons and what tasted like a white wine jelly.

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The capocollo was thinly sliced and not overly fatty. If you eat a lot of charcuterie, you’ll know what I mean. Some meats taste so oily. Not this one. L could detect some heat. I couldn’t detect any spice.

chateau

The Chateau de Bourgogne was ripe, creamy and buttery. The currents paired well with the cheese, as it gave it more flavour. I think this cheese would go well with champagne because it left no aftertaste. I enjoyed eating the rind.

lindsay

L liked the hard cheese – Lindsay. The texture was firm and crumbly. The flavour was earthy and nutty. I did not enjoy eating the rind. The only thing I didn’t care for was the wine jelly. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t drinking, but the smell was off-putting.

cheese cracker

It would have cost me more than $25 to buy all the crackers, cheese and garnishes from a store. You have to pay a deposit for the wood platter, but I would recommend it. Cutting into the cheese on a plastic platter took away from the experience.  I could have rearranged it on our larch wood platter from Knifewear but I was feeling too lazy. I would order from Peasant Cheese again in a heartbeat. Hitting the Sauce gives this Kensington gem two fat thumbs up.

Peasant Cheese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato