Dear French Market Shopper
Whilst the world’s top tennis players slug it out at Roland Garros stadium, in the beautiful city of Paris, their efforts have been somewhat overshadowed by this week’s more scandalous events as the FIFA saga rolls on with RSA in the lime light. It would be interesting to see the ROI from the 1 million Rands (oops no sorry I misheard) Dollars, that was used for development of football as was explained on the news. I am looking forward with more pleasure to the upcoming Jokovic / Murray semi final match than hearing the full exposure of FIFA’s sordid misdeeds.
If you are entertaining friends to watch (on TV) the Tennis at Roland Garros then I can recommend that you offer them a platter of French cheese and pates with crusty baguettes to give your guests some real atmosphere. You could also offer them the same food if you are following the FIFA saga as we hear that some of the ZA investment boodle was handed over in a French hotel.
Patisserie de Paris news this week is that Paul has developed a frozen range of butter croissants, chocolate croissants and pain au choclat to suit all of you who wish to cook your own at home. There is nothing better than the smell of home baked croissants. We also have a stock of the mini jams from France with apricot, black cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavours to accompany the croissants. Paul says do remember to bring along your cooler bags to keep them frozen on the way home. Paul has extended his new range of the perfect French macaron and is now enticing you with Vanilla, Chocolate, Raspberry, Pistachio, Amarula, Rose/Litchi and White chocolate flavours with a promise of more to follow soon.
New in Cape Town this week is the Chateau de Guerry 2009, this is the oldest estate in the Cotes du Bourg region of Bordeaux and is the site of ancient Roman wine making. This wine is a blend of 50% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc. The wine had been aged for 9 months which gives it a round and supple feel with a raspberry finish. We have also received a new stock of Crème de Cassis and Poire William.
For those of you who have visited the French Market shops you will have seen that we have on offer about 30 French cheeses for you and several delicious French pates, Rillettes du Mans is a traditional dish of shredded pork meat which you spread on a baguette. We love you to come in and taste our different cheeses and pates so that you can find your favourites. We also offer a range of dry goods such as fragrant Herbes de Provence and tangy Dijon mustards which add a touch of French flair to your food. You can find details of what is in stock on our price lists at http://frenchmarket.co.za/price-list/
One French cheese that is very popular in this cold winter weather is Reblochon. These small cheeses are made with unpasteurised milk from cows that graze in the Alpine pastures. These rich pastures are covered in snow in winter time and are coverd with tiny flowers and herbs in summer, this gives a great taste and quality to the milk. The cheeses have a disctbctive red stamp on them to guarantee their origin. The Reblochon’s outside crust is dry and the inside is smooth and creamy with a small of barnyards.
Now that we are in the grip of winter, I think longingly of the delicious cheese dishes which are so typical of the ski resorts in Savoie, in the French Alps. The melting cheese in fondues, Raclette melted in front of log fires and the flavoursome potato bake Tartiflette, are some of the most famous. I have a good stock of Reblochon de Savoie, the essential ingredient for a Tartiflette, so I decided to make one for this week’s recipe.
This traditional dish is a creamy potato bake made with lardons (strong flavoured chunks of bacon) onions, cream and wine, then a whole Reblochon is sliced in half and placed on top of the potato bake. I used the light cream (Crème legere) from Normandie instead of the full fat cream as the dish is rich. You cook it in the oven until the cheese has melted completely over the potatoes and has turned a dark golden colour. My daughter and I ate this creamy, tasty dish in front of a blazing log fire and accompanied it with a Hugel Riesling from Alsace as this wine has plenty of flavour to balance the strong cheesy taste.
We wish you a good weekend and hope you enjoy the tennis. We all look forward to seeing you in our French Market shop again soon.