There are certain unique foods produced in France which I love. One of these is the green lentil from Puy. These are my favourite lentils because they have a lovely peppery flavour, they don’t go mushy when cooked and they make me feel healthy because they are rich in protein. Their uniqueness comes from the valley where they have been grown since pre-Roman times, Le-Puy-en-Velay in the Haute Loire, which has a micro climate with low humidity due to the surrounding old volcanoes. They are naturally cultivated without extra watering or fertilisers. Unlike other lentils their skin is very thin due to the lack of humidity so they do not need to be soaked beforehand. Smaller than most lentils, their colour is a dark green to steel blue due to anthocyanin, a pigment, which is also present in blueberries and red grapes. Because their uniqueness is due to their origin they are certified both AOC and AOP.
Dear French Market Shoppers,
The cooler air has brought a bit of relief this week after the record heat of last weekend. For the first time this summer I was pleased to see some clouds and feel the rain. I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine’s Day dinners, I was delighted to see many of my male clients coming in to get ingredients for their celebration meals with their close ones, just goes to show that lots of guys enjoy cooking in Cape Town.
I hear that there is a great concert this Sunday at Kirstenbosch with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and some excellent performers, definitely not to be missed. So come and get some beautiful cheeses and pates for a picnic from my shop, La Crémerie.
At La Crémerie I try to offer a range of cheese flavours across a spectrum of strength of taste, creaminess and maturity. I have often been asked for a really hard cheese to grate over dishes. So I have managed to source some delicious 24 months matured Parmegiani Reggiano. ( I know, I know, its not French but this is in a class of its own) It has a beautiful depth of flavour and melts over hot food. It is perfect grated or thinly sliced over hot dishes, salads, carpaccio etc. I used it in my recipe this week, see details below, and it was beautiful. I also have my usual spread of delicious French cheeses including tangy Brie de Meaux, creamy Delice, tart Buche de Chevre, fudgy Cantal, pongy St Nectaire, smokey Morbier and taste exploding Epoisses to name just a few. Please refer to the full price list page.
And now I have something else that is totally new. in my effort to source French products I have managed to get some Quotidien fresh coffee beans “Cafe de Paris” Quotidien has been a Torrefactor since 1894. The Cafe de Paris beans are 100% Arabica and the taste is fruity with a fine aroma.The beans come in 1kg bags however, as with my cheese, I sell the coffee beans by the 100gs so that you can try them out.
I have also sourced some raw, frozen duck legs: Moulards. The meat is of a high quality and they are ideal for typical French country recipes. please note I keep a small stock so please order in advance.
There are lots of recipes for Puy Lentils, both hot and cold, this week I decided to do a really simple country dish with fresh herbs and topped it with grated parmesan and medium soft eggs (mollet). See my recipe page.
I hope that you have a cooler weekend than the last one. I look forward to seeing you again soon.