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Shopping ideas for May

Quoi de neuf? Check out these French-made products

Fromage in the frame

President Charles de Gaulle may have once declared it impossible to govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese, but he might have found life a little more simple had he been able to consult one of these encyclopedic cheese posters on his Elysée wall.

The number of cheeses the country produces might have risen to over 1,000 but this cunningly devised and meticulously plotted wheel-spoke chart simplifies understanding of the major cheese types, lists those which benefit from the prestigious label of excellence and geographical origin AOP (appellation d’origine protégée) label, and provides tips on the best French wines (or cider!) to accompany them.

The poster, coloured in shades of pale olive for a fits-anywhere neutrality, measures 70x50cm and costs €39. It is one of a series of designs by La Majorette à Moustache, a company that creates witty or topical visual posters pertaining to French life and culture. Others available include a timeline of Les Bleus football shirts and Vaches de France (cows of France).

Flower power

Le Creuset cookware is best known for being solid and simple in its appearance – efficient in the oven yet elegant when placed on the dinner table.

Now the makers of the enamelled casserole dishes (Le Creuset items are cast individually in sand moulds, then finished and hand-inspected by French craftsmen) have teamed up with Michelin-starred chef Jean Sulpice to create the ‘Relief Fleurs’ range, adding some decorative texture and a little flourish.

The cast iron casserole (price €279), which can also be used as a sauté pan on the hob, is adorned with embossed flowers on the lid and base and features a stylish textured matte white finish.

This new range also includes a mug (€15) and cafetière (€59).

Time to get fruity

Combining sweet savoir-faire with the finest ingredients since 1969, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence family confiseur François Doucet was awarded the prestigious Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivante in 2017.

The ethos of keeping things local means that 75% of the ripe fruit they use to create delicate confit fruits come from France while 50% of nuts for their chocolate-covered almond ‘olives’ are grown in Provence. Among the biggest sellers are these sticky and flavourful aromatic pâtes de fruits (€14).

A moveable literary feast

Why bother packing half a dozen paperbacks in your suitcase this summer break when you can fit 8,000 onto a connected Bookeen Saga e-reader?

This elegant reading companion, available in a range of colours, has a soft but strong silicone cover that remembers the last page you read. It runs on one charge for weeks at a time, is adaptable for left-handers and its FrontLight technology gives clarity and comfort for the eyes, day or night, beach or bed.

It comes with pre-loaded e-books while new or favourite titles can be purchased via the Bookeen e-bookstore. RRP: €139.90.

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