Dear French Market friends,
The opening ceremony of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris last Friday, was so innovative and original, with a cabaret style celebration of the French culture and heritage. 240 volunteers portrayed all that is most loved from French food to French fashion, in the centre of the massive Stade de France playing field. Famous French actor Jean Dujardin played a baker delivering baguettes on his bicycle, while a huge Eiffel tower rose up from the ground behind him. Beautiful models portrayed the elegance of French fashion, dancers twirled across the scene and Zaz the famous young singer sang her heart out. President Macron gave a great welcome speech to all the international visitors, which was hardly audible amongst the cheering of the excited team supporters. The ceremony ended with an incredible fly past over the top of the Stade de France, the jets streamed the French colours as they roared overhead. If you missed the opening ceremony, you can catch it on YouTube, it really is worth watching. At the Alliance Francaise we were packed and had wonderfully noisy evening as local French supporters and our new Consul General of France Madame Sophie Bel, cheered on their team to a great win. Tonight, the Alliance will be screening on the big screen, the French match against Uruguay, at the Alliance Francaise at 155 Loop Street. Free entrance from 20.30 tonight. Come and enjoy a glass of French wine and the French atmosphere.
With snow on the mountains around Paarl and Franschhoek this week, it is more like being in the Alps and we are really feeling the chill of winter. I recommend stocking up on some raclette cheese this weekend. This is the best cheese for melting over hot potatoes. Serve it with some prosciutto crudo and cornichons, which are back in stock this week from Edmond Fallot. These small gherkins are crunchy and tart. They are often served with terrines or saucisson sec as an apero. We received replenishments of several other lines this week. We have the Edmond Fallot vinegars back in stock. The red wine vinegar is aged for 12 months in wood barrels which gives it a depth of flavour. The white wine vinegar is from Burgundy. The Jerez vinegar has a complex flavour which enhances sauces and dressings.
I am receiving great feedback on our new French patisserie range and have a selection of individual chocolate cakes, coffee cakes, opera cakes, pastries, eclairs, madeleines, financiers, and macarons. The quality of the chocolate and other ingredients used in making the cakes, by our French master baker, is what makes such a difference to the taste. I really have great difficulty in resisting the temptation to eat them all. The cakes are usually in stock on Friday, please let me know if you wish to pre-order.
This week we received a new stock of the Sabarot Couscous. Often used in modern French recipes, due to the North African influence in mainland France, couscous is granules of rolled semolina which are steamed and usually served with a savoury meat sauce. It can be used in many different ways, as a main dish or side dish. Couscous can also be made into savoury galettes (small cakes). In this week’s recipe I mixed couscous with grated Comté cheese from the Alpine meadows, our sundried tomatoes from Italy and fresh thyme. The ingredients are bound together using eggs and cream cheese. This is served with a tuna and cream cheese sauce which enhances the flavour of the galettes. This recipe can be used as a starter or light main course, it is easy to make and has layers of different flavours. I suggest try pairing this tasty dish with a glass of Gerard Bertrand Rose from the Cotes des Roses, near Narbonne on the Mediterranean coast.
I hope you enjoy the rugby Match tonight, Allez les Bleus!
Suzanne and The French Market Team