French Market News-Give your Squeeze a cheese-heart shaped Valentine’s cheese-Sale of Pol Roger sugar free Champagne-Recipe Pailles au Grana Padano

Dear French Market shoppers,

My favourite month in Cape Town is February; it is usually sunny and warm without too much wind. It is traditionally the month when there are the most outdoor events taking place. Last Sunday I watched La Sylphide ballet performed amongst the trees at the Maynardville Open Air theatre. This was such a perfect setting and made the story more realistic, Laura Bosenberg was as delicate as air as she danced the lead role, it was an absolute pleasure to watch. We always take a picnic beforehand to the Wynberg park, next to the theatre, where we enjoyed some French pates, cheese and wine (of course).

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Valentine’s Day is next Saturday and this is the day when you can show your favourite “squeeze” how much you love them by doing something unforgettably romantic together. For example invite them to share a French picnic with you in your favourite place. Spread a rug on the ground and decorate it with red rose petals. Light some candles and offer your beloved a little French heart shaped cheese and a glass of delicious French champagne. This should be a real winner. If you are “in between” squeezes then invite your best friends over instead. Do let me know if you wish me to give you suggestions for a cheese platter.

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Coeur de Neufchatel AOP by VillilersI have the heart shaped cheese, Coeur de Coupigny, arriving from Normandie on Saturday morning. The small ones (30g) cost R35 each. I will also have a couple of larger Coeur de Neufchatel hearts as well. Some have already been pre-ordered, please let me know if you wish to book one.

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For those of you watching your sugar intake I have managed to get a small stock of the Pol Roger Pure. This is their Extra Brut Champagne which is made without the addition of any sweetening dosage. It is a blend of 34% chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The blend is made with reserve wines over 3 years to get the perfect balance of taste and structure. I am offering a special Valentine’s Sale of 20% discount on my Pol Roger champagnes until after the Valentine weekend, while stocks last. Check the price list here.

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I love to have some home-made nibbles to serve with drinks when I have friends and family around. They are so much more tasty and interesting than shop bought snacks. My childhood memories of my parent’s entertaining was helping my mother to make cheese straws in our kitchen, then being allowed to hand them around to the guests before being sent upstairs to sleep. Somehow the smell of freshly cooked cheese and pastry is very homely and perfect to accompany a glass of wine. The cooked pastry looks a bit like dried hay (Paille in French). Grana Padano is one of the oldest hard cheeses from northern Italy, being made near Milan by the Cistercian monks since the 12th century. It has a lovely toasty flavour. With access to good ready-made puff pastry, this type of snack is really quick and easy to make and the taste impresses one’s guests no end. The Paille are also great as a nibble in a picnic basket.

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Plate of cheese strawsFor this week’s recipe all I did was to lay out the pastry, spread it with olive oil, grated cheese and sprinkle it with some salt Crystals from Guérande, slice it thinly and place in the oven. No skill at all is required. I like to serve a Burgundy chardonnay such as “La Vignée” from Bouchard Pere et Fils with my cheese straws. Click here for the recipe.

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I wish you a lovely weekend, full of sunshine and great meals. See you soon.

Regards

Suzanne

1 thought on “French Market News-Give your Squeeze a cheese-heart shaped Valentine’s cheese-Sale of Pol Roger sugar free Champagne-Recipe Pailles au Grana Padano”

  1. Dear Suzanne
    See attached photo for the ‘French Picnic’ lunch we hosted on Saturday.
    See also the wonderful Brie and Roquefort which I purchased at your store in
    Garden Centre on Friday.
    Your assistant was very helpful with the choices.
    We also had the jar of Pate le Canard which I bought previously.
    All of that was enjoyed with a bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape.

    Although at home my husband insisted on the picnic style lunch as no
    assurance of how long, if any power outages would happen.

    We had a fine time which was enjoyed by all.

    Will see you soon.
    Best Regards
    Annie Basson

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