Gift Guide, Day 9

La Vieille Prune

It was pretty much love at first whiff. The first time I tasted this aged, plum brandy the aroma came surging toward me out of the glass. It was so mellow that I imagined a crackling fire, violins playing, a cashmere hug. I folded my hands around the glass and the aroma lingered, still seducing me with its perfume long after the liquor itself had vanished.

I love cooking with Vieille Prune; add it to apple sauce, or chicken liver pate, or just toss a drop into a ragu – and whatever you’re making becomes softer, rounder, more appealing.

For years you couldn’t buy Vieille Prune in America, and I faithfully brought bottles back from France for my friends. I usually bought mine at La Maison de la Truffe in Paris, because I loved the old-fashioned writing on the label. This wonderful liquor is still shockingly rare in the United States – and isn’t that one reason to offer it as a gift? – but I’ve found a few sources in California. If anyone knows another place to buy Vieille Prune, I’d love to know about it.

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you can also get this in Quebec, CANADA at the local SAQ! that's where we purchase it! so YUMMY is right.

Ruth! I fell for this stuff like a ton of bricks the first time I went to France. Who knew it had its own facebook page? I'd love to find a domestic importer, since I am nursing my last quarter bottle. If one doesn't exist, though, I guess I'll just have to get on a plane and go get some.

Susan: I don't even know where to leave a comment for you... but I love that you're having such a good time with this blog. Thanks!!

Regine; I learned to like slivovitz during the month I spent in Dubrovnik, but I wouldn't call it a cousin. Vieille Prune is closer to Cognac or Calvados.

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