Newsletter – Black Olives from Nyons in Provence- Chablis Domaine William Fevre – Recipe Soupe de Choufleur au Cantal

Dear French Market Shoppers,

I hope you enjoyed your Bastille Day celebrations, I was fortunate to be invited by the French Consul to celebrate France’s National Day at an elegant cocktail party in the ballroom at the Mount Nelson. The Consul welcomed us and graciously congratulated the German Consul on their World Cup Football success. The National Anthems were played with much enthusiasm by a local youth band and we all toasted France.

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I have recently brought in some specialities from Provence, one of these are a few packets of Olives from Nyons with Herbes de Provence, they are black, plump and slightly wrinkled with a fine aromatic flavour. These are reputed by olive lovers to be the finest olives produced in France. All French olives are grown in Provence in the south east of France, the Nyons area is the furthest north that olives can be grown. These special olives are dry cured then aged in brine. This method gives them a much better flavour than the mass produced olives which are either soaked in a chemical solution of lye or they are soaked in brine.

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You will be glad to know that I have my usual large stock of delicious cheeses from all over France and lovely terrines and pates which are wonderful for light meals or to serve as starters and after larger meals.

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My wines and spirits are continuing to sell well, this week I added to my stock some wine from Chateau St Cosme from Gigondas in the southern Rhone region. This ancient vineyard still has some of the original wine cellars made in the Roman times. The Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2012 is made with syrah (shiraz) grapes and has red and blackcurrant flavours with hints of liquorish and violets. I enclose the price list and some tasting notes for your information, please note these will be updated as I go along.

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IMG_8566 (400x380)A favourite occupation of mine during cold and wet Sunday afternoons is to sit near a roaring wood fire and to play scrabble or bridge with some good friends. I find that a hot, home-made soup is ideal to serve my guests as I do not have to fuss with the recipe when I am playing. Everything can be made in advance and the soup can be served whenever it suits. My recipe this week is an easy cauliflower soup, all you do is chop up the ingredients and pop them in a pot and simmer for a while. The addition of Herbes de Provence (from my shop) gives a fragrant, herby aroma to the soup. I like to added fried croutons and grated Cantal cheese over the soup, this makes a filling and warm meal. See my recipe page.

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The wine I paired with this soup is from my new stock of French wines, a Chablis Village 2012 from the Domaine of William Fèvre. Chablis is made from chardonnay grapes and is one of the great Burgundian wines renowned for its inimitable minerality and freshness, this derives from the Kimmeridgian soil in which the vines grow. The winemaker, William Fèvre’s family have been in Chablis for over 250 years. They created their first Domaine wine in 1959 and are now respected traditional producers of iconic Chablis. Their vines are cultivated using organic methods and are all hand-picked. The Chablis I chose is unwooded, it has a white gold colour, smells of fresh fruit, white flowers, citrus and has a wonderful minerality. It has lots of flavour and a lovely freshness and goes beautifully with the soup.

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I hope to welcome you again in my shop, until then cuddle up near a warm fire and brave out the winter storms.

Best regards

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Suzanne

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