French Market Newsletter – Almost Springtime – Delice triple cream – Cantal – Tomme de Savoie – Recipe l’Agneau braise aux olives et citron

Dear French Market Shoppers,

Spring is nearly here in Cape Town, despite the drenching rain, howling wind and freezing temperatures this week, so hang in there and celebrate on Monday the 1st of September. It is my favourite day of the year and is the day that most Capetonions recognise as the start of spring, when the daisies are popping up their little heads on the West coast and the jasmine starts to blossom in the hedges. I love to put a sprig of jasmine in my hair as the scent is so beautiful and it just lifts my spirit after this long winter.

I am celebrating the arrival of a large stock of cheese tomorrow, sometime during the morning, including Delice Triple cream cheese, the favourite of many of you. This divine cheese tastes just like fresh cream and is very addictive. I will also be getting some Tomme de Savoie, the lovely raw milk alpine cheese from the Savoie. It is a perfect “breakfast “ cheese as it has a subtle but not overpowering flavour. Another cheese I will get is the huge Cantal from Auvergne, This dense buttery cheese is similar to a mature cheddar and tastes delicious. I will also be getting lots of the large Camembert from Normandie, Brie de Meaux, Reblochon, Roquefort’s Buche de Chevre, Epoisses, Fourme d’Ambert and Morbier to mention just a few.

I can see that apart from the well-known wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy that I stock, the most popular wines are the Rose from Provence and the Malbec from Cahors. I think there is a taste to suit each person’s palate and it is fun to explore different cultivars and to pair them with the cheeses. I am planning a Burgundy wine tasting and cheese pairing on the 1st of October and will give more details once finalised. Please let me know if you would like me to book you a place as seats are limited.

agneau citron olives 001 (400x374)These cold winter storms and driving rain are making me seek refuge in heart-warming comfort foods such as rich meat dishes. I fancied the strong taste of lamb cooked slowly in red wine and herbs. In this week’s recipe I braised a shank of lamb with garlic, olives and some fresh lemon and rosemary from my garden. While I slow cooked the lamb in some Shiraz on the stove, the heady cooking aroma filled my kitchen. I realised that the wine to accompany the dish would have to hold its own, so I selected a Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC wine from Domaine Juliette Avril, in the southern Rhone area, just north of Avignon where the Popes used to reside. The Popes used to own the village of Chateauneuf hence its name This famous wine is made from Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre grapes. It has a beautiful purple colour with spicy aromas which pair beautifully with this dish. Click here to go to see the recipe.

I wish you a Happy Almost Spring weekend and hope to see you again soon in my shop




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