French Market News 4Jan2024-Happy New Year Paris-Panettone sale-Cantal-Tartiflette-Mont d Or-Rillettes-French Market recipe 2024 01 Aligot de Cantal

Published on: 11 January 2024

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,
On Sunday evening 31 December, the City of Paris hosted a massive party on the Champs Elysees, with nearly a million spectators being entertained by artists and singers performing around the Champs and Eiffel Tower. The entire area was cordoned off to ensure public safety, with security checks at all the entrances, all alcohol and any potential weapons were removed. This enabled the revellers to have an amazing evening out, celebrating the arrival of 2024 on one of the most beautiful streets in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe was lit up and screened with scenes leading up to the Olympics 2024 which will be hosted in Paris. The measures put in place were a practice run for this major event. They appeared to have been successful in their goal of an organised and peaceful event.  

When President Macron addressed the French nation that evening, he said “Only once in a century does one host Olympic and Paralympic Games, only once in a millennium does one rebuild a cathedral, 2024, is a year of determination, choices, recovery, pride. The Cathedral of Notre Dame which is being rebuilt after the devastating fire 5 years ago, is scheduled to reopen on the 8December 2024. During this December the spire of Notre Dame was re-erected above the Cathedral. This has been a massive undertaking, and all involved are working nonstop to achieve this goal.

Back here in Cape Town, we had a record-breaking December thanks to the support we received from you, our local residents, and many overseas visitors coming to our shop. All our stocks arrived on time for the Christmas parties, my team worked like stars and we provided hundreds of kilos of cheese, delicious cakes, champagne, caviar, and many other treats to our wonderful clients. We have just a few panettones left which we have marked down on special.

Fresh in today are the individual patisserie which are so popular and the Galette des Rois, we have a small stock on hand if you have not yet ordered. The ones in the shop are 18cm in diameter, which is a generous 5 to 6 servings. Each cake has a Feve (lucky bean charm) hidden inside and comes with a crown. There are two types, one is with a frangipane filling, and one is with a frangipane and chocolate hazelnut filling. They have a light flaky pastry casing which takes ages to make, with rolling butter inside a layer of raw pastry then turning and repeating the layers many times over to get the high flaky effect. They are such a work of art and look beautiful. I have great difficulty in resisting eating them. Please contact me if you wish to reserve one as there are only a few available.     

We have received a new stock of French traditional terrines. We have the duck terrine de canard, the pork terrine de campagne, the pork and mushroom terrine de forestiere, the pork liver confit de foie , and pork and duck rillettes.

In our cheese range we have everything in stock, if you are still entertaining and wish to make an evening meal with French cheese, we have Mont D Or which is great when heated in the oven and served as a fondue. We have Reblochon from the Savoie to make a Tartiflette (baked potato dish), we have Cantal from the Auvergne which is used to make a dish called Aligot.

The Petit Cantal comes in a 10kg wheel from Cantal in the Auvergne in the heart of France. The cheese has a dry crust, a golden coloured centre, with a dense almost fudge texture. The tart taste is similar to Cheddar. It has been made in France since the Gallic tribes raised their dairy herds in the Auvergne.

For my recipe this week I used Aligot, an old French country recipe from the Cantal region which is ideal for a family meal. Basically, the dish is a puree of potatoes to which you add some Cantal, raw crushed garlic, cream cheese and milk. The texture should be creamy and pourable from a ladle high above the dish. It is often served with sausages from the region, I fried local pork sausages instead and they were a perfect accompaniment. I loved the flavour of the cheese coming through the mash then sudden bites of raw garlic. This recipe is easy to make, and it is delicious, it beats my ordinary mashed potatoes hands down. See recipe below. I suggest a red fruity spicy wine from the Rhone such as our Pavillon St Pierre (R220) to pair with this flavoursome dish.

With our Best wishes to you for a great New Year 2024, may it bring you Peace, Happiness, and lots of delicious French cheese.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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