Dear French Market shoppers,
We have just passed the Equinox and our days are slowly getting shorter, more rain is falling and evenings are cooler. I think this may have drawn in the shoal of dolphins that I saw heading for the cove at Oudekraal, just close to the road, causing a traffic jam as people slowed to watch them frolic in the waves. Nature gives us such beautiful sights along our coastal road as we drive to work, that is why I prefer to live here rather other faster paced cities.
This week I have received a small quantity of an organic, unpasteurised, Tomme de Chevre from Savoie produced by Schmidhauser. This firm textured wheel of goat’s cheese has a dry crust and an ivory coloured centre. It has a delicious, subtle flavour which derives from the alpine pastures where the goat’s graze. Another new product is some Goat’s cheese camembert from Poitou, an area which is famous for its goat’s cheese. I recommend serving the Goat’s camembert with a delicate Sancerre wine, and a Pouilly Fume wine with the Tomme de chevre.
Another new product that I have received is Harissa de piment fort rouge made by Le Phare du Cap Bon in Tunisia (R25 a tube). Harissa is well known in France where there is a North African influence in some cuisine. For example it can be used in chicken couscous dishes or on kebabs.
We are fast approaching Easter and I have a good stock of the beautiful La Colomba traditional Italian Easter cakes which can be served with a glass of champagne or the Cremant de Bourgogne, the sparkling wine from Burgundy. These also make beautiful gifts if you are invited out for a meal. I have also brought in a couple of 1kg Bries as these are ideal if you are entertaining a lot of guests. Do contact me if you would like me to prepare a platter of cheese for your Easter entertaining. We will be open every day however we will close early on the 2 Public holidays at 2pm on Friday 3rd and Monday the 6th April.
One of my favourite cheeses is Cantal, a raw milk cheese from the Auvergne region. This delicious cheese was originally made by the Gallic tribe, the Arvernii, a powerful tribe that ruled a wide region of France in BC3. They were famous for having withstood the Romans during several battles until finally defeated in 121 BC. Their name was retained by the Romans to designate the region of Auvergne. This is an old volcanic area, in the heart of France, where they grazed their herds of cows. The cheese they made was so good that it’s production has continued for over 2000 years in this region.
For this week’s recipe I found an easy one on www-aop-cantal.com for bite sized Cantal cheese savoury cookies, which can be made by hand, in much the same way they would have been made by the Arvernii. I reckon you could also make these around a camp fire and bake them on a griddle as well. You would need to turn them once so that they get cooked on both sides. They are perfect to serve with a glass of wine before dinner or to munch on at any time of day. Of course the best wine to serve has to be the Puy de Dome Pinot Noir from Auvergne. You can find view this recipe at http://frenchmarket.co.za/french-recipes/suzannes-weekly-recipes-for-2015/suzannes-recipe-12-2015-petits-gateaux-de-campagne-au-cantal/
My Johannesburg venture is progressing well and we are sourcing our décor and staff. All is looking hopeful for an opening mid-April So if you have friends up there who would be interested in knowing about my products in Johannesburg please forward me their emails.
I look forward to seeing you in my shop again soon,