Hello French Market friends,
Today in France sees the launch of the Festival de l’Imaginaire (Festival of the Imaginary) in Paris and surrounding region. The 26th edition of this Festival, celebrates the diversity of artistic expression from across the world. Running for 11 days there is a wide offering of cultural activities including music, dance, and expression, showcasing the living history of our world. Many of the activities have free entrance, so if you are in the Paris region over the next two weeks you can participate in this beautiful sharing of global cultures.
If you cannot get to Paris, we are also celebrating art with our 1st Thursdays in Cape Town, with lots of cultural activities including art, music, and food on the streets of Cape Town around Brie, Loop, Long and Strand Streets. At the Alliance Francaise at 6pm tonight is the opening of a new art exhibition Colours of Soul by Hannah Yason and Joviale N Muaka.
Also starting next week, the Alliance Francaise is offering a new short French learning programme to help you get ready for the Rugby World Cup 2023 which kicks off in 3 months’ time in France.
This week in our shop we have a range of blue cheese. The Roquefort is designated by the French as the “King” of all blue cheeses, it is made from sheep’s milk and has a strong salty flavour, try it with some baguette spread with lots of unsalted butter and pair it with a pear preserve. Our Bleu d’Auvergne is a crumblier, medium flavoured blue cheese made from cow’s milk in the heart of the Auvergne region. Our Fourme d’Ambert is one of the oldest cow’s milk cheeses originating from the town of Ambert. It is shaped like a cylinder as it was traditionally made in a wooden bucket (Fourme) which gave it a cylindrical shape. This blue is the mildest of the three French blues and has a delicate fruity flavour. We also stock Gorgonzola from Italy which is a strong pungent flavoured cow’s milk blue cheese. In addition we have a whole range of cheeses from creamy to hard, mild to strong for you to enjoy.
New in stock in our alcohol range is the famous Dolin Vermouth from Chambery in the Savoie, created by Louis Ferdinand Dolin in 1821. Vermouth is fortified wine aromatised with a distillation of herbs, flowers, and spices. The alcohol level is 17,5%. We have the White Vermouth, the Red Vermouth, and the Dry Vermouth. For cocktails they can be served chilled, and they are also famous as a mixer in cocktails such as Negroni and Manhattan. Price is R270 for a 750ml bottle.
In our fresh produce range, we have received a stock of Persimmon this week. Cultivated in China over 2000 years ago they are now grown widely including in S.Africa. This fruit looks like a tomato with a more yellow colour and larger leaves. It is delicate in flavour with a taste like a cantaloupe melon. The skin and fruit are edible. We also have a wide stock of other fresh produce including Jerusalem artichokes, orange sweet potatoes, kumquats, naartjies, grapefruit, lemons, and fresh herbs.
For my recipe this week, I wanted something sweet and filling. Rice pudding is a simple recipe from childhood. In this recipe I combined this simple dessert with the flavour of vanilla and a lemon syrup, topped off with fresh sliced strawberries and crème fraiche. I enjoyed the contrasting flavours, textures, and colours. See recipe below. My pairing suggestion is with a chilled White Vermouth de Chambery now available at our French Market shop.
I hope you enjoy your 1st Thursday evening, stay warm and have a great weekend.
Suzanne and The French Market Team