French Market News 10Nov23-Storm Ciaran-Vacherousse-Delice triple cream-Tete de Moine-Panettones-French Market recipe 2023 40 Sorbet Rosmarinus

Published on: 11 November 2023

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,

Last week the western part of Europe experienced Storm Ciaran which brought massive winds, recorded up to 200km/hour. Rains plummeted down across its path. It stormed in from the Atlantic and drove across North Western France and the English West Country. Even the President, Emanuelle Macron, sent out a special message warning people to be vigilant and stay at home. He specially thanked all the State services that would be supporting people and infrastructure during the storm. Image of Wimereux on the Northern coast of France (Photo by Johan Ben Azzouz). My neighbours in Charente described how it was been raining nonstop. Flights were cancelled, trees uprooted, causing damage to overhead electric lines and cutting off power to thousands of homes (completely unconnected to Eskom!) A lucky little loggerhead turtle, that normally frequents the Mediterranean was found washed up on the shore in Guernsey and rescued by passers by (Image courtesy BBC News). On reading about this storm, which was described as a “low cut off” it seems to be the same weather pattern that devastated the Western Cape with torrential rain and winds, just a few weeks ago. At least our weather has finally warmed up and summer is finally here.

This week we received another large shipment of cheese. Back in stock are many favourites including Vacherousse, the very creamy cheese from the Jura region. The Delice triple cream cheese which is so popular and the great classic gold medal winning Brie de Meaux made by Donge. One of the  lesser known cheeses that we stock, is the Ossau-IratyThis sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region has a dense texture and a subtle flavour, similar to Manchego which is made from across the border in Spain. We have lots of Comte from the Jura and Beaufort d’Ete from Franche Comte. Still in stock is our aged Gruyere from Switzerland. We also received some Tete de Moine from Switzerland this week. This unmistakable cheese is cut with a rotating blade which makes beautiful floret shaped slices of the cheese. I have been busy placing orders for cheese all the way up to Christmas, so please let me know if you wish to reserve some of the specialities in advance such as the Tete de Moine or Mont d’Or.

The first of the fresh white truffles (Tartufo Bianco Tuber Magnatum) have just started to come into the country from Italy. These truffles are the most highly prized of the fresh truffle families for their intense, almost garlic aroma. The white truffle colour is actually a dusky, sandy beige colour, in contrast to the almost coal black colour of the Black Autumn truffle (Tartufo Nero Uncinato Tuber Uncinatum). The white truffle has a smoother exterior, than the black which is more ridged. The white truffle should not be cooked too much and are better served freshly sliced over dishes. Whereas the black Autumn truffle can be heated and served in many dishes. Current prices are white truffles R145 per gramme and the fresh black Autumn truffles are R45 per gramme. Note these are on a pre-order basis only.

We have also just received over 100kgs of Panettone – it’s such an exciting time as these beautiful treats arrive for the Festive Season. We will start putting them out on display shortly.

Travelling recently with my sister Julia reminded me of her skills in the kitchen. We all grew up enjoying food and my mother was a great cook. Julia did formal “cuisine” lessons at our very strict convent boarding school and would come home and create innovative dishes for us. I have always admired her dishes and thought I would share one of her summer sorbet recipes with you this week.

In many of our gardens we have rosemary bushes and lemon trees. This sorbet is an infusion of rosemary, lemon juice and white wine. It does not require any special skills and can be made in a freezer or an ice-cream maker. It is great dessert to serve for a sunny summer lunch, now that our warm weather seems to have finally arrived. See recipe below. I would pair this with the same wine used in the recipe, being the Gerard Bertrand Blanc 2021 a Chardonnay from the Cotes des roses near Narbonne in the southern mediterranean area of France. This is the bottle with the base shaped like a rose, after the hills where the vines grow. This is available in our shop or you can buy it through our online shop.

I hope you have a good weekend enjoying our summer sunshine.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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