Dear French Market Shoppers,
This weekend I shall be following with great interest our S African swimmers in the second round of the Fina Swimming World Cup which is being held at Chartres near Paris. Let’s hope that our medal winning trio will continue to dominate and make us very proud of their achievements. If you are travelling with the swimmers hopefully you will have time for some sightseeing as Chartres is the home of a magnificent, medieval Cathedral with the inimical “Bleu de Chartres” blue stained glass windows. There is even a cheese shop close to the cathedral called the St Suzanne Farm with a wide range of artisanal cheeses.
Did you know that France is the largest consumer of cheese per capita in Europe (25.9kg per person) beating Iceland and Finland into 2nd and 3rd place? No wonder the French have so many cheeses.
Back home in Cape Town we also have a wide range of cheeses for your enjoyment. This week we have received a new cheese – a Vacherousse – a creamy cheese made in the Jura with a light orange crust. The flavour is delicate with a slight after-tang. Do come in and taste it.
In Cape Town we have received a small stock of Black olives flavoured with Provençal herbs. We have also received a new stock of the French Sauce tartare and béarnaise.
In our meat section we are receiving during the day tomorrow some Rillettes du Mans, pork shredded meat made with the traditional recipe from the town of Mans. Our saucisson sec this week includes flavours of Beaufort cheese and Beaujolais. Please do not hesitate to email me if you wish to get more information on any particular product.
I had the privilege to drive out into the country on Woman’s Day and watch “Evita’ perform a witty and perceptive show. I am always amazed to see how Darling has developed over the last 20 years, with lots of great wines being produced in the area and plenty of interesting shops and restaurant. I am sure this is as a result of Pieter Dirk Uys hard work developing the train station into a destination theatre and his support for the development of the local community.
Whilst travelling around the West Coast area I noticed the springtime vygies and daisies are beginning to peek their faces out of their deep winter sleep and to bask in the new warmth of the sun. There is a promise that winter will finally end and summer will return.
Johannesburg has also had glorious weather since the long weekend and it’s set to continue this weekend. Sunshine, azure skies, no clouds or wind and temps in the low to mid 20’s. There is a promise that winter will finally end and summer will return.
The launch of our taster cheese platters last weekend at Patisserie de Paris / French Market Johannesburg was a great success and definitely the way to go if you want to experience our French cheeses. We will change the cheeses on the 3 platters monthly, so there’s always a reason to return. The platters are the Debutante (3 cheeses); the Gourmand (6 cheeses) and Le Pique-Nique (3 cheeses and 2 pates.) All accompanied by a basket of sliced baguette and Cape olives, gherkins, green fig conserve and raw walnuts.
The menu of Patisserie de Paris continues to expand. From this weekend, Paul has added two new offerings: Asian Pulled Pork Wrap. Slow roasted pork shoulder marinated with char siu sauce and wrapped with an exotic spicy Asian slaw. Le Burger deluxe. 200g meat patty topped with green fig conserve and a slice of camembert, served on a baked in-house brioche bun with lime & coriander hummus & rocket . Served with frites and a side salad. Come along and enjoy a delicious meal in the sun.
To make the salads interesting and appetising I like to try out different sauces and ingredients. With my cheeses, especially the Blue cheeses, I can create some wonderfully flavoured dressings. In this week’s recipe I made a creamy salad dressing by combining buttermilk, olive oil, vinegar and the unpasteurised Fourme d’Ambert. This raw milk, blue cheese which has been made around the town of Ambert for thousands of years, has a subtle but distinctive flavour, neither acid nor overpowering. This salad can be served as a very light meal or starter or can be accompanied by grilled, free range chicken breasts for a more substantial meal. I recommend pairing this salad with a subtle white wine such as a Chablis from William Fevre. Click on my recipes page to view the recipe (and all the previous ones) .
I trust you have a great weekend and enjoy the promise of spring.