French Market News 22Feb2024-Fete Citron Menton-Vinegar di Modena-French Table Wines-Truffle butter-FrenchMarket recipe 2024 08 Quiche volaille truffe

Published on: 25 February 2024

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,
In 1928 on the French Riviera, next to the Italian border, the town of Menton was recognised as the top lemon growing region in Europe and the townspeople decide to create a carnival to celebrate. The Carnival was so successful that the town decided to make it an annual event.  This week saw the start of the two weeklong 90th Fete de Citron in Menton. Over 200,000 spectators are entertained with this unique carnival celebrating the local citrus fruit. The theme this year is the Olympics which take place in France this year. The town is packed with visitors who come to watch the procession of dancers, musicians and floats decorated with massive statues up to 10m high, all decorated with lemons and oranges. At the same time the visitors can enjoy a range of activities and visits to the Botanical gardens, surrounding lemon farms and other interesting places.

Back home in Cape Town we have had an interesting week with the announcement of the Budget 2024 (taxes are increasing on wine) and the removal of certain judiciary figures proving the saying that the Wheels of Justice turn exceedingly slowly but grind exceedingly fine.

Talking of grinding with stone wheels brings to mind the reason why our Edmond Fallot mustard from Dijon is of an exceptional quality, because this company is the last mustard producer in Burgundy to grind the mustard seed with a stone mill, this gives a very fine ground texture for the mustard seed and improves the quality of the mustard. We have re-stocked with all the popular Dijon mustard flavours including walnut, tarragon, basil, honey balsamic and Provençale. We also have the large 1kg traditional Dijon mustard jars back in stock and the mini gift packs of 4 different flavours.

We have received some exceptional Balsamic vinegars from Modena (IGP). Made by Malpighi, one of the premium suppliers of Balsamic vinegar since 1850. The range is made with the must of grapes from their vines, mixed with their in-house produced wine vinegar and aged for several years in wood barrels. We have the “1850” Balsamic Vinegar of Modena dressing made from the cooked must of Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes aged in barrels for 6 years. This has a sweet and sour, velvety and intense flavour. The density is measure at 1,34. It comes in a small bottle with a beautiful, antique style red seal and is packaged in an elegant box. Makes a great idea for a gift.

The second Balsamic vinegar from Modena is the Gold label, made from 80% cooked grape must and 20% red wine vinegar, aged for 15 years in wooden barrels. This vinegar has a balanced sourness and high density. The colour is dark brown and the fragrance round and full. The density is measured at 1.34. Another great gift idea.

In addition, we have 2 flavoured dressings made with the cooked must and traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena aged for 6 years. The Fig dressing is combined with sweet and juicy figs, this creates a fragrant and intriguing dressing with an aroma of figs. The other flavoured dressing we have is made with the combination of the balsamic vinegar from Modena and the natural extract of black truffle. This creates a unique and particular flavour. The density is 1.3 and the colour is a deep, dark brown.

With the impending increase of the tax on wines now is the time to stock up. I have recently increased my collection with some easy drinking French Terroir Littoral regional wines, under the R200 level, made by Fortant from the Pays d’Oc IGP (a geographic protected product). These include a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot at R160. They are typical of French table wines, designed to be enjoyed with some good food and ready to be consumed not laid down for years.

In our French cheese range, we have a wide selection of cheese to pair with these wines, soft and gooey to firm and crunchy. There is cheese to suit everyone’s palate.

In our fresh produce range, we have trays of beautiful Persian figs, they are so delicious. Lots of super jumbo eggs, plenty of fresh fruit and veg including passion fruit, apples, oranges, pears, lemons, grapefruit, pineapple, orange flesh sweet potatoes and plenty more.

We received a new stock of Italian truffle butter, therefore my recipe this week is a quiche made with chicken and cream filling, topped with melted truffle butter.  I suggest pairing with an intensely flavoured Burgundy Pernand Vergelesses chardonnay to match the truffle flavour.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend, spoil yourself with some tasty French cheese, a fresh baguette and a glass of French wine.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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