French Market News-Rugby World Cup-Lanson Champagne-Chocolate truffles-Tree walks DeWaal Park-Recipe 36-2015 Asperges Blanches a la sauce Cantal

Dear French Market shoppers,

Tomorrow many of us will be gathering around TVs with friends to cheer on the Boks at the start of the World Cup 2015. With many of us having heritage ties to teams in Europe it is often difficult to decide who to back. However there was no doubt in the French supporters minds when I attended the 2007 World Cup in Paris, when the Boks faced the English Roses in the semi-final. In the stands around us were many noisy English fans mocking the Boks, but they went very silent when our Bokke won. After the match we went for a meal on the Champs Elysees, still in our Green and Gold colours, and many French fans came up and shook our hands in the street as they were so delighted we had beaten their “old enemy” in the semi-final. Whoever wins or loses it’s a great game and will be enjoyed by all. Don’t forget if you are entertaining at home you can feed your guests platters of French cheese and pate while you watch the games.

I attended a tasting of Lanson Champagne this week given by Emmanuel Gantet the charming Export manager for Lanson. This iconic Champagne house was founded in 1760. Their style of champagne is fresh and crisp which is achieved because they avoid using malolactic fermentation and keeps the original flavour of the grapes. Their non-vintage Black Lable is recognised as one of the most consistent in the top champagne houses and is the official champagne served at Wimbledon. If you are looking for a unique place to be married, Emmanuel told us about the small chapel in their cellars in Reims where wedding ceremonies can be performed. I think that is rather a fun idea as you can drink lots of champagne immediately after the ceremony. We are carrying a small stock of their range including half bottles at R329 which are great for a romantic cocktail for 2. Please email me if you would like more details.

New in this week are some delicious French chocolate truffles which have just arrived from Paris. They are made by the famous Mathez Chocolatier. These beautiful silver boxes contain truffle shaped chocolates finely dusted with cocoa powder. These are a great idea for a treat for yourself or as an elegant gift for a friend.

News for local residents and lovers of DeWaal park is that Tielman Haumann will be guiding a free tree walk this Sunday at 10h30 to show the major project for identification tagging of over 100 different trees. Please email Tielman at for more details.

White Asparagus season has arrived in the Cape and I managed to find some at Raiths shop downstairs in the Gardens centre. The short season lasts only for a few weeks and I have learnt from the past to buy some as soon as I can, as it is so popular. I tried to find some information on this Cape varietal and came across an entry in the Encyclopaedia Londinensis published in 1810 which informed me that “the Afparagus declinatus.. is a native of the Cape of Good Hope” so this plant has been established here for a long time. It is the real symbol of the start of spring growth and tastes like it. We made the most delicious creamy, fondue style sauce with some tart flavoured Cantal cheese and a dash of Kirsch (Eau de Vie from black cherries) We mopped this up with thick pieces of toast and accompanied the dish with a glass of Emmanuelle Mellot’s Pouilly Fume, as the unique flinty flavour in this sauvignon blanc wine pairs well with the earthy flavour of the asparagus. Click here to see the recipe on my website.

Please note for the public Holiday on Thursday 24th, we will be open up to 2 pm.

I wish you a great weekend and good luck to the Bokke.


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