Provence, for Henry, instills such wonder and magnificence. The time, honor, and tradition from this region has been brought home and has been tastefully recreated at his recent tradeshow booths.
“What I try to do is take these people out of the show for just a brief moment and put them into a street fair in Provence,” explains Henry. While they are under this canopied marketplace, people are sampling some of the finest imported products, not only from Provence, but the world over. It’s an atmosphere that you don’t find here in the United States, so Sid Wainer & Son has recreated it for you.
Capturing the nostalgia for the simple, fresh fare found in the sun-warmed market stalls and bistros of France, the Domaine de Provence line includes a fine selection of the world’s highest quality olives, selected from the finest farms in the Mediterranean. Aromatized with the secrets of Provence, they are filled with Mediterranean flavors.
This specialty item won the 1995 N.A.S.F.T. Outstanding Food Service Award and was once reviewed as the Bon Vivant of Bon Appetit.
This specialty line includes the following incredibly creative and delicious prepared olives: Green Olives with Pistou (firm green olives with basil and garlic), Green Olives with Herbs of Provence (firm green olives with provencal traditional herbs), Green Olives with Garlic, Cocktail Corsica (firm green and coquillos olives with garlic, cumin, and pepper), Cocktail Andora (firm green and purple olives with spicy Harissa sauce), Taillade Olives (a purplish cracked olive), Coquillos Olives (tiny brown olives with a chocolaty finish), Cocktail Barcelona (firm green and Taillade olives with onions, garlic, and sweet peppers), and Cocktail Morocca (firm green olives with garlic and cumin).
“One of the few great areas in all the world is a region of Provence called the Valley de Beau,” refects Henry. “Sitting on the tops of the mountains are Roman cathedrals with wild herbs growing everywhere, and looking back across the valley where many of the finest products are grown in all of the Mediterranean region, we have produced Domaine de Provence olive oil. It is made by an olive oil co-op with limited production. The color and flavor is unsurpassed. As Julia Child said to me at a presentation at the American Institute of Wine and Food last year, 'At last, a real French olive oil!’, Henry recalls.
Due to the unique flavor of the olives of this region, Sid Wainer & Son has produced three tapenades, including Black Olive, Green Olive, and Green Olive and Tomato. They are available packaged in 3.2 ounce jars and four kilograms.
Other fine oils from the Domaine de Provence line include impeccable selections of infused olive and sunflower oils. Packaged exclusively for Mr. Wainer’s Domaine de Provence line, these products have been awarded two gold medals at the Universal Exposition in Europe. Flavors include Basil or Chili Infused French Extra-Virgin Olive Oils and Dill or Truffle Infused Sunflower Oils.
Henry has found, within one of France’s smallest villages, an artisan producer of nut oils. Since the mid-1800s, this producer has been pressing the oils, never changing the method nor machinery, and continues to produce the world’s finest oils in the very same factory.
“Our producer is a relic compared to major industrial refineries,” explains Henry. “He’s producing these oils the same way his great-grandfather did, when peasants would bring various nuts or wrapped seeds to his factory to be pressed.” The first pressed oils are bottled exclusively for Sid Wainer & Son under the label Domaine de Provence.
“Causing quite a stir at the James Beard House lately is the Pure Pistachio Oil,” comments Henry. “Chefs there were making an appetizer with Chanterelle Mushrooms in a rice paper cup with this Pure Pistachio Oil drizzled over it. The pistachio oil is gently toasted.”
Sid Wainer & Son is the first to introduce Pure Pistachio Oil to the United States. Also included in this line of pure nut oils are Almond, Hazelnut, Walnut, and Pinenut. “His signature oil is almond, and it is served by several 'Three-Michelin Star’ restaurants throughout the country,” Henry adds.
Another award winning product of the Domaine de Provence line includes an all-natural Goat Cheese from Canada. This preservative-free cheese won first prize against 160 other cheeses at the annual American Cheese Society’s National Specialty Cheese judging at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. This is not the first time this cheese has won first prize by this same society. The judging takes into account the highest quality in all aspects including flavor, aroma, texture and technical evaluations.
This Goat Cheese is packed exclusively for Sid Wainer & Son, and is finer than any other “chevre” on the market. The producer’s experience and state-of-the-art equipment results in a preservative-free product that has a smoother, richer texture, with low moisture content and longer shelf life.
The Goat Cheeses of the Domaine de Provence line also comes flavored, either Fine Herb or Pepper. This fine cheese comes packed 2.2 pound pail, 11 ounce log, 1.8 pound log, and 3.5 ounce portions.
As we wind our way from the heart of Provence, we come across a most unique line of Pates and Terrines packaged exclusively for Sid Wainer & Son. Produced with the finest wines and cognacs, these products are made the French artisan way.
What makes the Pates and Terrines of this line so unique is that the products used to create them are produced from as much organic ingredients as possible from around the gardens of the world.
“These products have approximately 40 percent less fat than others on the market,” explains Henry. “They are low in calories, but are as satisfying as traditional recipes. They contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients either.” The special recipes of the pates in this line are created by the chefs of Sid Wainer & Son. The Pate du Village, incredibly rich in flavor, features a light and healthy melange of veal, chicken livers, herbs and spices, and is coated with aspic. “We call them the royalty of appetizers and buffet cuisine,” comments Henry.
In order to put his name on a label, Mr. Wainer looks for the rural, rustic farms, where tradition is so very steep, and where industrialization has not crept in.
Akin to this, we find Henry in a picturesque 16th Century village in France, visiting with a mustard producer who still does everything by hand, under the same recipes and formulas of her great-grandfather, several times her predecessor did, using the same methods and similar equipment.
Champs Reserve mustards have received several medals at fancy foods shows and at the Napa Valley Mustard Competition. “You’ll find our mustards served on many of the nation’s finest country clubs’ carving boards,” boasts Henry.
Champs Reserve also includes a fine line of champagne vinegars. “All of the herbs she uses and the infusions that she creates for us are produced regionally outside of Champagne, France. I assure you that this will be one of the most delightful cooking experiences you will ever achieve in a reduction,” beams Henry.
Sid Wainer & Son is the exclusive importer/distributor of Champs Reserve. Mr. Wainer expressed what an accomplishment it is to be representing such a fine line like this.
Talking about Lamprien’s Herbes of Provence brings a smile to Henry’s face. “He and his father are a lot like my dad and I; they work side by side, loving the business, sharing the passion, and aren’t afraid to work and get dirty....,” he says.
“His products are very well received,” explains Henry. Unusual products like lavendeau and lavender, and fennel sticks are making fine infusions, sorbets, and the like. In order to preserve the full force of their fragrance, only natural drying methods are used at Lamprien.
Herbs grow naturally in the fields of France. “Mr. Lamprien is a large apple and fruit grower, and while he stores his apples in the back in a cooler, his herbs are found out front to dry,” says Henry.