French Market News 13 Nov 2022

Published on: 13 November 2022

Bonjour French Market friends in Cape Town

This week has raced by, and we are almost halfway through November. Our Christmas stock is starting to land in Cape Town. One of my favourites at this time of year are the Panettone and Pandoro, the classic Italian cake gifted at Christmas time. With our large Italian community here in S Africa, the tradition of gifting Panettones at Christmas time is deeply entrenched. I was first introduced to them at the home of my oldest Italian friend in S Africa and have been addicted ever since. These beautiful cakes are a pleasure to eat as they are so light (I don’t feel guilty at all) and filled with beautiful aromas of citrus and vanilla.

Our stock has just landed, and we expect the cakes to arrive inside the shop early this week. We have to place our order in April, as the producer only makes for confirmed orders. Therefore I keep my fingers crossed for various reasons, as in 6 months a lot can happen: that the supplier can forget my order or have production issues; that the cargo ship delivering the order manages to dock; that the stock is actually in the right container and not sitting in a random port on the other side of the world (believe me this is happening to others); that the stock gets offloaded despite strikes and or power cuts; that the stock does not get hijacked somewhere along the way; that we will still be in business; that I have enough for all my clients and that I won’t still be eating unsold Panettone at Easter. It’s a lot of ifs and buts along the way but they have arrived, and I am truly grateful. Of course, the challenge now is to find space in my tiny shop for a million panettones.

Our supplier Maina, is located in Piedmont and is a family run business, taking care of the production to guarantee the quality which they combine with innovative technology. The Di Gennaro, from Puglia, and the Brandani, from Tuscany opened a tiny sweet shop in Turin in 1964, then a cake shop in Fossano in 1969. In 1984 they developed technology to automate the kneading of the dough, which is an essential part of a Panettone. They continued to innovate and grow their business, with the younger generations joining in. Now they produce over 26 million cakes a year and deliver them to over 50 countries globally. This is what I call a real success story. Somehow I don’t see my little French Market growing as big but I’m working on it.

We will be receiving panettone and pandoro in different shapes and flavours. I can send you a detailed list if you would like more information. We will courier to you if you are not based in Cape Town. We also have lots of cheese, terrines, wines, and other treats in our shop, do come in and check them out. Lots of our clients are already back in the Cape and we know the season is likely to be big. We are already aware that there will be shortages of certain products. Please remember to pre-order for your Seasonal entertaining, apart from the cheese and pates, fresh products such as west coast oysters, black mussels, Italian caviar and fresh truffles which are in season now.

I find that there are some flavours which are challenging to pair with a wine to enhance both the ingredient and the wine. For example, truffles, I adore the aroma and am quite addicted to them, I believe this is not uncommon. I made a truffle quiche which  turned out well, particularly the pastry which I made with French butter. You can use our preserved Italian truffle slices if you do not have a fresh truffle. I decided to pair this with the beautiful Barolo wine from Ca’Bianca available in our shop.

I hope you had a good weekend and look forward to seeing you in our shop again soon.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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