French Market News 23Nov23-Thanksgiving-Brie truffles-Panettone-Walnut Mustard-Xmas Cheese platters-Oysters-French Market recipe 2023 42 Farce Marrons

Published on: 26 November 2023

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,

Last night in the United States of America tonight, families sat down to their annual Thanksgiving celebration dinner. This is usually a bigger event than Christmas. Thanksgiving was first celebrated with a feast by the Plymouth settlers and the local Wampanoag Native Americans in 1621. Subsequently in President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November a day to be set aside for Thanksgiving for their Independence and Constitution. Since then, Thanksgiving Festival has been celebrated every year with a family feast in the USA and across the globe. There are many traditional foods served including stuffed roast turkey with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Yesterday was no exception with many American clients visiting our shop to purchase treats to enjoy with their S. African friends.

Many of you remember my daughter Nicky who worked with me at our shop, then went back to the States and is now based in Venice, L.A. where she works for a food group, they have a deli, bakery, catering service, market etc etc and create all their own foods. They have a big following in LA. Nicky heads up the food team and this week they were stuffing and roasting over 100 turkeys plus bushels of accompanying brussels sprouts and smoking hundreds of pounds of salmon for orders for their clients’ Thanksgiving dinners. Their numbers are absolutely mindboggling, I find roasting one turkey is challenging enough. It must have been a relief when the team finished cooking and could sit down, relax, and enjoy their own family dinners.

Back here in Cape Town this week the weather drifts between hot summer and cooler cloudy days. The city is full of international visitors, and it looks like our region will have a bumper tourist season. Preparations for Christmas are in full swing, we received our first big stock of cheese from Paris and will hopefully have another couple of shipments before Xmas. All in all, we bring in about 300kgs of cheese over this period. We have received a small stock of Mont D’Or and lots of the popular Brie with Truffle cream. This is such a delicious cheese made with a layer of creamy truffle filling sandwiched between 2 layers of brie. We also received lots of stock of all our regular cheeses. We have small and large sized Camemberts from Normandy, pasteurised and unpasteurised Brie. The Delice triple cream is back in as well as the popular Vacherousse. In our mountain cheese we have a new 6 month as well as a 16-month aged Comte.

In our dry goods range we have received 130kgs of Panettone. We literally have Panettone hanging from every possible corner in the shop. I love the smell of them as I unpack the boxes- it is so fresh and yeasty. Our Panettone and Pandoro are ordered with our Italian suppliers in April, then the bakers prepare all the orders for the ingredients, each part of the cake is prepared with great care. We have a complete range from mini baby sized ones up to 1 kg cakes. Not only are the Panettones delicious to eat at your Festive dinners they also make easy gifts for your friends.  Each year I try and select a new one to tempt my friends and family. My favourite this year is the chocolate and cherry panettone. Come in and see, or you can browse on our website where they are all listed and send me your orders.  We have already received our first orders of Panettone online and they are travelling across the country.

We have plenty of other ideas for gifts, from mini mustard packs to bottles of Cognac, do come in and browse around. In our mustard range we have just received the 1kg jar of traditional Dijon mustard and the walnut mustard which has been out of stock for months.

Back in stock this week in our charcuterie range are the saucisson sec plain pork and the saucisson sec with truffle aroma. We also have pork terrine and venison and prune terrine.

As you prepare for your seasonal feats this is a reminder that we can order fresh oysters and black mussels for you, we need at least 48hours advance notice. The same applies for the fresh black Autumn and white truffle season which continues, we are bringing in each week on a pre-order basis, if you would like to order please let me know.

In France, chestnut trees grow in many areas and chestnuts are cooked in many different ways. We stock crème de Marron which is a sweet chestnut paste and whole cooked chestnuts which are ideal for a stuffing. We are expecting a small stock of Marrons glace next week, stock is limited so please contact me to reserve a box. In view of the Thanksgiving dinner and approaching Xmas meals, for this week’s recipe I decided to share an old recipe for Chestnut stuffing for a turkey.

For all our regular clients, you will know how busy it gets as we go into the Xmas season. Please place your orders early for your Xmas cheese platters and other special treats and we will make sure you get them.

I wish you a sunny weekend.


Suzanne and The French Market Team

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