French market news – New Brunet terrines-Poire William Eau-de-Vie-Sauternes half bottles- Suzanne’s Recipe 2015-32 Brie farci a la truffe noir d’été en croute
Dear French Market Shoppers,
Did you know that France is the largest consumer of cheese per capita in Europe (25.9kg per person) beating Iceland and Finland into 2nd and 3rd place? I think this is because there are so many interesting cheeses to try, with each one having a different flavour and texture. De Gaulle’s most famous question was “How do you govern a country with more cheeses than days of the year”. In fact there are about 400 different cheese types with many variations, therefore at least a 1000 different cheeses are made in France. At our shop we cannot fit all of them in to our display counter so had to select the ones we love the most.
We currently have cheeses from all regions of France and a couple from Italy. As we approach the summer season we expand our range. You are always welcome to check if I can procure a particular cheese for you. For instance Vacherin and Beaufort, which I will bring in later in the year. Currently I have placed an order for Camembert ripened with Calvados for a client. I expect this to arrive in a couple of weeks and will have a few extra. If you are interested in booking one please let me know.
I have received some new terrines from Jean Brunet. This range of pates and terrines in jars are quite special as they do not contain preservatives, colourants or artificial flavours. They are individually cooked in their glass jars and can be stored at room temperature. New flavours include a terrine of chicken livers with Armagnac, Pork with truffle juice, Terrine Bigourdane with chilli pepper and a southwest terrine with pork and capers.
I have also received from Paris some more Lucien Georges preserves which are made in traditional copper cauldrons, there are quince and fig preserves. These have been made to accompany cheeses.
In the alcohol range I have received the half sized bottles of Chateau Petit Guiraud Sauternes and Poire William Eau-de-Vie from Massenez. One of the most famous of the Eau-de-Vies (schnapps) Poire William is the distillation of pears and has a distinctive flavour.
I had promised myself that one day I would make a dish with fresh truffles. Last week I managed to get hold of the last of this season’s Black Summer Truffles (Tuber Aestivum) from Italy. These delicious truffles have a season from May to August which varies according to the weather, so there is no guarantee how long the season will last. We only import the truffles as required as they have a short life, we keep them wrapped in absorbent paper, inside a sealed container otherwise the entire contents of the fridge take on the aroma. These summer truffles weigh 30g and upwards and look as dark as coal on the outside. The inside is dark brown with white veins. Whilst they have a more delicate aroma than the winter truffles, these fresh truffles still smell incredible. I decided to stuff a delicate Brie with slices of truffles, then bake it in phyllo pastry (a first time for me). Luckily my daughter could give me good advice as to handling the phyllo which is so fragile. The secret is to brush each layer with melted butter. The end result was absolutely sensational and the fragrance quite addictive. The aroma of the truffle paired perfectly with the slight mushroom aroma of Brie. We tried pairing with different wines, whilst a Petit Verdot had a truffle nose we decided that the best wine was a wild Chenin. I recommend pairing with the Vincent Careme Chenin brut, an organic sparkling wine from Vouvray in the Loire. Please click here to view the recipe on my website.
We will be getting some fresh Autumn truffles in the next few weeks, do let me know if you would like more information.
To celebrate the completion of the upgrading of the Gardens Shopping centre, which now looks so bright and airy, there will be a Craft beer Festival next week from Wednesday to Saturday where you can taste interesting beers, listen to some music and try some of our cheeses and other treats.
I hope you have a great weekend and look forward to seeing you again soon.