French Market News 28 October 2022

Published on: 30 October 2022

Bonjour French Market friends in Cape Town,

Today is the International #ChampagneDay. Across the globe countries are celebrating this beautiful bubbly wine.

The development of the modern champagne process is historically attributed to the monk, Dom (Father) Perignon, in the early 1700s in the Champagne region of France. He studied and improved techniques for the distillation, bottling and corking of the sparkling wine from this region. He is attributed with the statement that he was “Tasting the stars” after tasting a successful bottling. I am so glad he recorded his work for future generations to reproduce this process, as this is my favourite drink, Merci Dom Perignon. By coincidence a client ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon 2012 vintage yesterday and we managed to find one of the last bottles in the country, as there is a global shortage.

To celebrate World #ChampagneDay, we have brought in a small stock of Louis Roederer champagnes, including their top of the range “Cristal” champagne.(Cristal is pronounced with a French accent). This is the champagne that was the favourite of Tsar Nicolas II and is emblazoned with his coat of arms. Cristal has a beautiful depth of flavour and aroma, with incredibly fine bubbles. In addition, we brought in the Louis Roederer Brut 2014 vintage and the

Louis Roederer Rose 2014 vintage. We also stock the Tribaut Schloesser NV Brut and NV Rose. Come in and buy a bottle today and celebrate in style.

We have restocked most of our cheeses and our fridges are packed with 100kgs of cheese. Back in stock this week are several favourites, Delice triple cream and the creamy Vacherousse from the Jura, Epoisses from Burgundy, Munster from Alsace, boxes of Camemberts and Pont L’Eveque from Normandy, wheels of Comte, Emmental, Tomme de Savoie, Mont D’Or, Ossau Iraty, Bleu d Auvergne, Roquefort, and lots more. Come in and try something different.

In our dry goods range we have a new stock from France of whole cooked chestnuts, mustards, vinegars and terrines, rillettes pates and foie gras. Our biscuits include cheese biscuits, stroopwafels and speculaas from Holland, Amaretti and rosemary crackers from Italy.


It is Halloween this Monday. I always wondered what people do with all the scooped out insides of the pumpkins, used for decorations in Halloween festivities, and found a million ways to cook this vegetable. In France a pumpkin is called “citrouille”, the other name “potiron” is a smaller shaped pumpkin. Here in ZA, our butternut is the nearest vegetable to a pumpkin. This recipe is for a creamy soup topped with prawns. It is easy but has quite a few steps. See recipe below – I recommed pairing with the Viognier wine “Boheme” Veyzier grown on the edge of the Condrieu region in the Rhone valley, available at our French Market shop in Cape Town.

Have a great weekend, say “Cheers” to Champagne and enjoy Halloween.

Suzanne and The French Market Team.

French Market Recipe 2022 41
Soupe de Halloween citrouille et crevettes
Halloween soup with pumpkin and prawns


  • 500g prawns
  • 500g pumpkin/ butternut
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 chicken stock cubes (or 750ml chicken stock)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of sage
  • Pinch of Piment d’Espelette (or cayenne pepper)
  • Pinch of saffron fronds or saffron powder
  • 125ml double cream
  • 200ml Cheval Noir Bordeaux blanc from the French Market
  • Day old baguette for croutons
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and cut pumpkin/butternut in cubes. Boil for 20 minutes until soft, then mash
  2. Dissolve chicken stock cubes in 750ml boiling water
  3. Peel uncooked prawns and remove black vein, place in a sealed container in fridge
  4. Peel and chop onion and celery
  5. Slice baguette into crouton sized slices
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy based frying pan
  7. Add prawn shells to hot oil and fry until brown about 4 minutes
  8. Add wine and boil until wine has evaporated
  9. Add chicken stock, onion, celery, saffron, 4 sage leaves and bring to boil
  10. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  11. Drain stock into a large saucepan
  12. Stir in the mashed pumpkin/butternut, Piment d’Espelette and cream (retain a couple of spoonfuls to pour over served soup
  13. Simmer gently for10 minutes
  14. Whisk soup to creamy consistency
  15. Add lemon juice and check seasoning, add fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste. The soup is now ready.
  16. Prior to serving, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan
  17. Fry croutons in olive oil until golden, remove from pan
  18. Fry prawns about 3 or 4 minutes depending  on size, until pink
  19. Remove from pan and keep warm
  20. Reheat the soup, pour into individual bowls, spoon prawns and croutons on top of soup, add a few thin slices of fresh sage leaf, drizzle a little cream over soup, sprinkle a little Piment d Espelette over the top.

Serve hot, accomapied by a glass of Veyzier Boheme Viognier available at the French Market shop in Cape Town.

Bon Appetit!

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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