French Market News 25May23-Monaco Grand prix-French cheese parties-Terrine de Campagne-Fresh porcinis-Jerusalem artichokes-French Market recipe 2023 19 Veloute de Topinambour

Published on: 26 May 2023

Hello French Market friends,

This weekend is the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, the most exciting sportscar race in the world, with its twisty track racing along the Mediterranean seaport and around the beautiful coastal Principality of Monaco. Sitting on a private yacht in the harbour, is definitely one of the best places to watch the race, while you sip Champagne and eat delicious French cheeses and pates.

If you cannot make it to Monte this weekend, then I suggest you come along and buy a selection of our amazing French cheeses and pates, some French Grand Cru champagne, we have a selection for you, and take them home to share with your best buddies, while you watch the race on your tv. Or if you are far from home, just buy some French treats for yourself and pop open a bottle of bubbles while you watch on your mobile phone anywhere in the world. If you are planning to visit the Cote d’Azur this summer, do remember that I have a little holiday studio with a small balcony right on the sea front at the Port de Garavan in Menton, between Monaco and the Italian border. It is fully equipped and available for holiday lets. Contact me for more details.

We were thrilled to be asked by the French Consulate in JNB to supply cheese for their Soirée Méditerranée function, last night at the Alliance Francaise in JNB. It is always a bit stressful slicing the cheese and packing it carefully, knowing that the cheese has to fly 2000 miles and be in perfect condition to serve the next day. I love it when I get the call after the event, to be told that all went well and the clients loved the cheese, see image of their buffet campagnard with our cheese. Our next big events will be providing loads of cheese for the 14th of July for the French Embassy and Consulates around South Africa. Our plans are already well laid, but one just never knows what challenges can lie ahead of us, just like the Pandemic, I never relax until after the events. If you are planning any events around the French national day and wish to order some cheese, do let me know well in advance so that we can ensure we have sufficient stock for you.

We have lots of delicious cheeses for you this week, from the strong aroma and runny Brie de Meaux; lots of creamy but not quite as strong Vacherousse, dense and rich but delicate flavoured Delice triple cream. Tete de Moine from Switzerland. Tart and crumbly Devonshire cheddar. Firm textured and strong flavoured Appenzeller to mention but a few. If you wish to try something new then taste some of the St Nectaire, this is a dry crust, mountain cheese with a medium firm centre and its own distinctive flavour.

In our meat selection we have new stock of Terrine de Campagne, this is a medium coarse spreadable terrine traditionally made from pork, liver, herbs, and garlic. It is great spread on a fresh baguette. We also have a new stock of the small saucisson sec plain pork and some with truffle aroma. There is plenty of the delicious creamy pure duck liver mousse.

We have just received a new stock of fresh porcinis this week, it is the first crop of the season and hopefully there will be plenty more to follow. They have a wonderful earthy aroma and can be cooked in so many different ways, the simplest is sliced and fried in butter with a little garlic, served with fresh baguettes and topped with some fresh parsley.

Also, back in season this week, are Jerusalem artichokes, known in France as Topinambour. These tuber roots of sunflowers originated in North America and were eaten by the local population. They were introduced to France by the famous French explorer Samuel de Champlain who navigated and explored the Americas, finally creating the first settlement of French in Quebec in the 1600s. When the tubers were brought across to France, an exhibition was also taking place in France concerning the Topinambour tribe from Brazil. From that time the name Topinambour was linked to this vegetable. The Italian name for sun flowers “Girasola” (turning to the sun) sounded like “Jerusalem” to the English, when they first came across the tuber, and so they called the tuber “Jerusalem”, and because it has a slight taste of the famous globe artichoke, it was called “Jerusalem artichoke”, with no connections whatsoever to artichokes or links to the Middle East.

I really enjoy a hot winter soup in this chilly weather that we are experiencing at present. The Jerusalem artichokes can be turned into a very tasty and creamy soup. See recipe below. Because of the delicate flavour, a dry aromatic Riesling pairs well with this soup, such as our Schartzhofberger Riesling Kabinett from the Mosel valley, available from our shop or order online from us.

Please note that we have started our Winter shopping hours, we will be open up to 6pm Mon-Fri. Sat 9-5 and Sun 9-2.

Wishing you a great weekend, stay warm in front of a fire and imagine you are in Monte Carlo basking in the summer sun.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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