Dear French Market shoppers,
With Valentine’s Day around the corner many of you may be trying to compose a little love letter to accompany the French cheese heart that you are giving your Beloved. The earliest recognised Valentine’s love letter, a Rondeau, was penned by Charles, Duke of Orleans, a renowned poet, to his wife during his captivity in the Tower of London following the battle of Agincourt in 1415. It starts as follows: « Je suis desja d’amour tanné, Ma tres doulce Valentinée… » I have seen various translations, my own is “I am steeped in love, My very sweet Valentine”. Sadly she died before he was released 25 years later.
If you need some inspiration, here is a modern Valentine’s message that I think is fun:
“Roses are red, violets are blue I made this card just for you
It’s not the neatest, it wouldn’t pass a test
But it’s made with love–that makes it the best”
The heart shaped cheese, Coeur de Coupigny, arrived and have nearly sold out. I have only 4 left of the 200g size at R160. Let me know if you want to book one.
If you are still looking for a place to celebrate Valentine’s on Saturday evening, there is a free concert, Moonstruck Summer Beach, on 4th Beach Clifton which should be great if you enjoy sitting on the sand with your picnic in the moonlight, listening to music. Entrance is free but you are encouraged to buy a Glow stick in support of NSRI.
I received a new load of cheese today and have restocked on the delicious Crottins de chevre. These are the little soft rounds of fresh goat’s cheese that have the consistency of very thick cream. I have also received some Tomme Noire des Pyrenees. This is a firm textured cheese covered with a black rind that has a lovely fresh, slightly tart flavour . I also have a new stock of Pont l’Eveque and the Tomme de Savoie, so there is plenty for you to choose from.
My coarse textured, Duck and Greenpeppercorn Terrine is back in stock, which will please many of you as it is a great favourite. I also have plenty of Pure Duck Mousse liver and Ardennes Pate.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I will be getting some new, multi-award winning, bubbly wine from Louis Bouillot of Nuits St Georges. Louis Bouillot is a highly reputed producer of Cremant de Bourgogne, a sparkling wine from Burgundy which is next door to the Champagne region. The Cremant is made in exactly the same way as a Champagne and uses almost the same grape varietals therefore it tastes similar to Champagne. Both of these Bubblies have been aged for at least 12 months and have fine, small bubbles.
The “Perle de Vigne”, Brut varietals are Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay and Aligote. The nose has aromas of peach and a hint of flowers. The taste is lively and fresh with a harmony between the Red fruits and the citrus. The finish is well balanced. The price is R250.
The “Perle d’Aurore”, Rose, varietals are Pinot Noir from the Cote d’Or, Gamay from Southern Burgundy and Chardonnay from Macon area. The wine is macerated for a short while prior to pressing. There is a bouquet of raspberries and redcurrants which develops into jammy notes. It has a fine, fruity finish. The price is R265.
One of the simplest dishes to cook in summertime is a quiche; it can be served at a buffet, a picnic or as a light meal. This traditional French dish is highly versatile and nowadays can include any mixture of vegetables, fish, cooked meat or cheese mixed into a Migaine, a mixture of eggs, fresh cream and pepper in a pastry base. I think the most well-known is the Quiche Lorraine which is made with slices of smoked bacon. When cheese is added it is called a Quiche Vosgiennes and when onions are added it is called a Quiche Alsacienne. In this week’s recipe I have combined shallots, baby tomatoes and Bleu d’Auverge, a soft blue cheese from the heart of France. I recommend serving it with a light red such as the Villa Ponciago Beaujolais. You can view the recipe on this link.
I received a lovely letter and image of a picnic made by Annie Bassoon. I do enjoy getting feedback on the cheeses and other products that you purchase from me. I have posted Annie’s letter below.
I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and hope that you get what you believe you deserve such as French champagne, French cheese and red roses.
See you soon.