French Market News 4July2024-TourdeFrance-De Montille wines-Morbier-Cantal-Epoisses-Almond Croissants-French Market Recipe 2024 30 29 Pie aux Pommes

Published on: 7 July 2024

Bonjour French Market Friends,
This week, whilst France follows up with a second round of voting, and the UK votes, sports enthusiasts are enjoying the progress of the Tour de France, which commenced in Italy on the 29th of June and entered into France on its 4th stage on the 2nd of July at Valloire, a mountain resort in the Savoie. Today the teams cycled from Macon to Dijon traversing through the Cotes D’Or, where you find some of the great Crus vineyards of Burgundy. Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen did not stop to sip some wine, as he sprinted through the countryside, and won this 6th Etape of 163km in a photo finish. If you have ever imagined these super sportsmen taking the evening off and heading out to sample the delights of Burgundian gastronomy, then think again. To retain their top performance, everything they eat is measured according to the energy they burn up, 6000 calories per day. There is not one single item of food that has not been carefully calculated for their diet, to ensure their peak performance. The teams are followed by a massive retinue of support personnel and mobile kitchens (meals on wheels) accompanied by their professional chefs who manage their daily consumption. To alleviate the pressure on the chefs fresh produce is trucked in for them. Apparently they love aged, hard cheeses like Comte du Jura as it is full of calcium,

Talking of Burgundy, recently I was fortunate to attend an amazing wine tasting dinner at l’Aubergine presented by Etienne de Montille, the owner of Domaine de Montille, located in Volnay in Burgundy. He took us through his family history over the centuries with the rise and fall of their Estates, declining to only 3 hectares in Volnay in the early 50s when his brilliant father Hubert, dedicated his life to rebuilding the Estates with his passion for viticulture, and knowledge of the best areas of production in Burgundy. He purchased 3 parcelles in top areas and focussed on building the production of Terroir driven wines solely from his own vineyards. The results are recognised worldwide as top class Burgundies with 75% of their wine coming for Premiers and Grands Crus appellations.

We tasted some of these Burgundian wines from their various Estates in Burgundy plus a mystery wine. This wine was Les Racines 2020, a Chardonnay produced on the De Montille Bedrock vineyard estate in Santa Rita Hills on the coast of California. The wine was superb but there is very limited stock. Etienne brought it along just to confuse us. I tried to find some of this Chardonnay when I was in LA but was not successful. This was an unforgettable evening paired with master Chef’s Harald’s brilliant food creations. I will be adding some of the available De Montille wines on our website. At present I have a list of available wines which I can send to you, if you are interested in more details.

This week we received a large stock of cheese from Paris as we are supplying the French Embassy in Pretoria, and the French Consulates in JNB and CPT with the cheese for their 14th of July celebrations. It is always exciting to unpack the cheese and see them safely stowed away. We restocked on all our favourites. From Burgundy we have received a new stock of Epoisses, the famous pungent cheese that is washed with Marc de Bourgogne the brandy from Burgundy. We received new stock of raw milk Morbier with its distinctive layer of ash from the Jura. We received a Petit Cantal entre deux, which is a bit of a misnomer as this cheese weighs 8kgs. The normal size Cantal weighs 4 times this size. We also have stock of the St Julien, a soft cream cheese that is layered with walnuts plus many other favourites. Do come in and try some.

In our fresh produce range, we received a small stock of Coeur de boeuf tomatoes (Ox Heart tomatoes), fresh zucchini flowers, shallot onions, red top apples, grapefruit, organic oranges, Jerusalem artichokes and fresh turmeric to mention just a few.

In our frozen French pastries range we have received a new stock of almond filled croissants. These are made in France with French butter and a filling of almond paste. They are deep frozen and come out on container ships. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and bake them. Try some this weekend when you watch the Tour de France.

For my recipe this week I decided on a typical American dish to celebrate the 4th of July, an apple pie, this one is made with a shortcrust pastry made with French butter, this is easier to make than puff pastry. The apples are chopped up then covered with pastry and baked in the oven, it is one of the simplest desserts to make and tastes great, especially in our chilly winter weather. I suggest pairing this with a shot of Calvados, the apple brandy made in Normandie.  

I wish all my American clients a very Happy 4th of July,

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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