Hullo French Market Shoppers and welcome to Autumn,
We have just travelled through the Equinox and are experiencing our first winter snap this week. I notice the change in food patterns as lots of people have been coming in to buy cheeses that you can melt such as Reblochon, Raclette and Emmental. These cheeses are traditionally served around the fireplaces in the French Alps in winter time when the snow is piled up outside the windows. I do realise that our temperatures are only just going below 20 degrees but for most of us Capetonians that is the equivalent of nearly freezing. I can see the change in the climate just by looking at the shop windows and shoppers in the centre, the woolly hats, winter jackets and boots are out in force, I think we have a long winter ahead of us.
Luckily this weekend is predicted to be dry and mainly sunny so you can still enjoy the outdoors. This Saturday is World Earth Hour when people around the globe, who care about our environment, are asked to switch off their electricity for one hour, that is at 20.30 in Cape Town. Our lovely city has been declared Earth Hour capital of South Africa. Can you imagine sitting out in the open (weather permitting) and looking at the stars in the dark for an hour while you have a beautiful picnic of French cheese and pates accompanied by a wonderful Cape wine. If you happen to be in the Northern Cape you can celebrate the completion of the first MeerKAT antenna for the SKA project, which I understand will be so powerful it will help us to see if outer space residents also eat cheese at their picnics.
Lots of interesting events are happening in the city this weekend including the Sounds Fringe Festival with over 40 artists performing in different venues, the Cape Town Jazz Festival at the CTICC and the inaugural Eco film festival at the Labia. All the info is on the internet. I shall be heading off to the Viva Vivaldi concert performed by Tinta Barocca Camerata on Friday (tomorrow) evening at 8pm at the little church on the corner of Buitengracht and Somerset Road.
I am getting in about 150kgs of cheese tomorrow from Paris. There will be plenty to suit all your different tastes from soft runny Bries and Camemberts, strong flavoured Comtes and Morbier, pungent Epoisses and Munster to name just a few to tantalise your taste buds. All being well I will also have some fromage frais 0% fat content and petits suisse.
I will also be getting a new stock of the delicious Mousse de canard – a pure duck liver pate made with port that is a treat to spread on a crisp baguette.
I have a stock of Saucisson sec arriving. These are the small salami style, air dried sausages, their flavour has a hint of traditional French spices. These are often served thinly sliced, to accompany your “apero” . My new range of French coffee beans, Cafe de Paris which are 100% Arabica are selling well. Their flavour reminds me of sitting in a little French sidewalk cafe on the Champs Elysees watching the world go by.
This week I wanted to make something to keep the chill out and I felt like some deep fried food like Beignets. I had some puree of potatoes and chestnuts left from my gourmet meal last week so I played with the mixture and coated chunks of Emmental with it, deep fried them and Voila! a new style of Beignets with gooey Emmental inside. See my recipe page.
As you know some of my stock can be limited, such as the Fromage Frais – so if you would like me to keep some for you just email me or text me.
I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy Earth Hour