Newsletter – Fromage blanc en faisselle – Petit Suisses – Calvados Christian Drouin – Bastille Day special Brie discount price – Recipe Les pâtes à la sauce de Fromage Frais aux Herbes de Provence, Champignons et Lardons

Dear French Market Shoppers,

It is so good to be back in my shop and great to catch up with all of you. I am currently working most mornings, except tomorrow when I will work most of the day. I find it quite tiring walking on crutches but have managed to make myself a comfortable work space in the shop.

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I have received plenty of delicious cheeses and pates this week in time for the famous Bastille Day celebrations on the 14th of July. I was honoured to be selected by the Embassy in Pretoria to supply them with cheese for the first time this year. I am doing a special 20% discount price on Brie and Brie de Meaux in celebration of Bastille Day this applies from tomorrow morning until the 14th July. So invite your friends around and have a great party.

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Last week’s wine tasting was a great success despite the torrential rain. I had decorated the library of the Alliance Française with soft lights and candles and asked everyone to imagine they were sitting in an old chateau in France tasting wine. As we tasted each wine I handed out a different cheese taster to accompany it. The wine tastings were made far more interesting by the personal anecdotes and experiences of my 2 presenters. You can see the entertaining comments and images from Neil Pendock on his blog at http://neilpendock.com/cognac-1-les-bleus-0/  I love the fact that he has entitled me the “Cheese Goddess” it beats my last title of “that woman behind the counter”. I definitely would like to repeat my wine tasting in another 4 – 6 weeks time and will offer more of a regional theme next time.

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There has been a very positive response to my new French wines and spirits so I am delighted that I have started selling this range. I expect to add a couple of new wines and spirits over the next few weeks as I build up the range to include good products from each region. If there is a particular French wine or spirit that you are looking for please check with me as I can source quite a large variety.

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I have pleasure in sharing some information with you on my new product this week which is Calvados from Christian Drouin, Domaine Coeur de Leon (The Lion heart Estate). Calvados is the distilled spirit made from apples grown in Normandy on the north coast of France. I selected this Calvados from Christian Drouin and his family because they create some of the most highly reputable Calvados in France with a string of medals and awards to their credit. I met Monsieur Drouin several years ago and I have kept a warm memory of the passion that he showed for perfecting his produce. Their apples are grown in orchards in several areas of Normandy, they are pressed, then either single or double distilled after which the clear spirit Eau-de-Vie (literally translated= Water-of-Life) is aged in oak barrels which gives it the colour and softens the tannins. When drinking Calvados after dinner one should gently swirl it around the glass and watch the “jambes” (legs) form inside the glass for a few seconds. This allows the volatile alcohol to be released  and enables the full bouquet to open.

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I have chosen 3 types of Calvados for my shop. The Calvados Selection which is made from apples from the Donfrontais area, has a beautiful golden colour with fruit dominated aroma which is drunk young. Often used in cocktails (ie  mixed with tonic water 3/7 parts) or added to a cup of coffee. It can be used in many recipes for example a Granites of apples. The second one is the VS, an older Calvados which has a harmonious blend of aromas of fruits, flowers and spices. It has a long but light finish in the mouth. This is ideal for the “Trou Normand” words to denote a little Normandy “dop” and to accompany a pungent cheese. The third Calvados is the Hors D’Age from the Pays D’Auge. This one is double distilled and aged for 15 years in small oak barrels. It has a lovely amber colour with a complex bouquet. The fruit aromas are dominated by the oak and spices.  The taste rests for a long time in the mouth and is perfect to serve as a “digestif” after a beautiful dinner. Please note there is a very limited stock of the Hors d’Age Calvados therefore please contact me beforehand so that I can ensure to keep a bottle aside for you.

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On cold winter evenings I love an easy pasta dish, it is quick to make and very filling. I find that cream can sometimes be quite heavy as a sauce so for this week’s recipe, instead of cream, I have used a fat free Fromage Frais  (fresh cream cheese) from Normandie (same as the Calvados). Fromage Frais looks a bit like yoghurt and has a thick pouring consistency. The sauce is much lighter than cream and has a pleasant tartness. The taste of the Herbes de Provence permeates the whole dish and gives it a delicious flavour. see my recipe page.  I paired this dish with my Rosé wine de Triennes from Provence which complements the sauce perfectly. This lovely refreshing dry wine is made from Cinsaut grapes and has a beautiful salmon pink colour with tastes of rose and mandarin.

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I look forward to seeing you all again and I wish you a Happy Bastille Day,

Best regards

 

Suzanne

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