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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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COOKING: Cassis In Your Kitchen?


The new cassis for cooking. Photo courtesy


The cassis in our kitchen is crème de cassis, a heavenly blackcurrant (a.k.a. cassis) liqueur made in Burgundy. We employ it in various desserts, and adore it mixed with sparkling wine (a Kir Royale cocktail) or sometimes, in a still white wine (a Kir).

Cassis is a great fixer-upper for white wines that you don’t much like. The sweet, silky blackcurrant liqueur covers up how flat, flavorless, acidic or otherwise unattractive the wine is.

The cocktail was named after Félix Kir, a longtime mayor of the city Dijon in Burgundy (from 1945 to 1968)—as well as a former parish priest, resistance fighter and subsequent knight of the Légion d’honneur. As mayor, he popularized the drink by offering it at receptions. The cocktail was previously called a blanc-cassis and mixed with Aligoté, a white Burgundy. (We’re not, we emphasize, implying that the mayor served bad wine.)

According to Sur La Table’s thinking, cassis is the new hot color for Le Creuset enamel-coated cast iron cookware. The retailer has the exclusive on the color, available now in SLT stores nationwide and online. It’s paired with Le Creuset stoneware in lilac. If purple is your thing, put it on your wish list. Or as one NIBBLE wag was heard to say, “Wait for the clearance and buy it at 30% off.”

But don’t wait to pick up a bottle of cassis. For cocktails, ice cream, sorbet, flavored ganache, trifles, cake filling and frosting, and a fruit salad dressing, it rocks. On the savory side, you’ll forget all about duck with cherry sauce once you substitute the cherries for cassis.

Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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