Dear French Market shoppers,
Our weather continues to confuse us with some clients arriving in woolly hats and scarves on one day and sundresses the next and of course this has given rise to seasonal colds and flues. If you have been suffering as I have, I can recommend some of the new Rose-hop tea that I have started bring in as this is high in Vitamin C. But good news is that this weekend is looking good with temperatures in the mid 20s so you can still plan outdoor picnics with lots of lovely French cheese and pates.
My great news this week is the decision of my younger daughter to return to Cape Town at the end of this month. After 9 years away in Europe and the USA working as a professional chef she has decided to come home to her roots and start setting up her own business. She believes that Cape Town is developing rapidly in the food industry, with many new and interesting venues opening up around the city and she wants to get involved. At my shop I have also seen a rise in the younger entrepreneurs and their families from France and other countries coming to set up their businesses in our city. It is really encouraging that despite our many challenges Cape Town is a great city in which to build a life. They also like the fact that they can still get hold of genuine French cheeses and pates here.
This weekend is a chance to explore some of these interesting foodie experiences with some of the best chefs of Cape Town at the Taste of Cape Town Food Festival which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday.
My charcuterie (meat) products continue to expand. I have managed to get a new stock of whole Saucisson sec and some pre-sliced saucisson with herbs which will be in the shop probably after midday tomorrow as well as some fresh Rillettes du Mans. I find that pates with green peppercorn are always popular so I have a stock of smooth pork and green peppercorn pate and some coarse textured duck and green peppercorn. I also have some of the coarse country pork and herb terrine and the ever popular pure duck liver mousse.
In my cheese range this week I have about 20 wonderful cheeses from different regions of France. They range from gentle and creamy Bries to salty and pungent Roquefort. There is a cheese for each person’s taste and I believe that the best way to choose is to taste a different one each time you visit here.
Easter weekend flew by and my elder daughter and son in law joined me here at the shop on Easter Sunday fro cake and coffee, as I was working most of the time. We shared some of the traditional Italian La Colomba cake which is shaped like a dove, it is very light and the taste of the candied fruit and almonds is quite delicious. I have a few of the 1 kg cakes left, these are now on special at R109
Our Johannesburg venture at the Patisserie de Paris is on track but we are still looking for the right staff so do pass on any contacts to me that you think might be interested. Ideally I am looking to train up young people, the essential skills I am looking for are sales ability, friendly personality and a deep appreciation of French food.
Talking of Patisseries, when I walk along the streets in Paris, I inevitably find myself being irresistibly drawn inside by the display of rows of beautiful cakes in the windows of the Patisseries (cake shops). In 1890 in the Banking District, near the Bourse, (the French Stock Market) Monsieur Lasne, a creative baker, started making gold ingot shaped small cakes, using mainly egg whites, almond powder, sugar and butter. He called these cakes Financiers (after the Bankers who liked to have small cakes on their way to work). They became very popular and subsequently many different variations on his basic recipe were created.
For this week’s recipe I made one of my favourites, the Financiers with fresh raspberries. These little golden, oblong shaped cakes are really easy to make and very light. The fresh taste of the raspberries balances the richness of the butter and the lovely flavour of almonds and vanilla. When I make a batch I find that they disappear almost as soon as they come out of the oven (me being the main cuplrit). They can be served as a desert or as a snack and they go beautifully with a small glass of iced Eau-de-Vie de Framboise (wild raspberry schnapps) from Massenez. See the recipe on my website at
I hope you have a restful weekend full of good food. I look forward to seeing you soon.