Dear French Market friends,
This week in Paris the Eiffel Tower was lit up in pink, as happens annually, for the whole month of October, to highlight the awareness of breast cancer. Across Paris the Women’s Spring-Summer 2024 Ready to Wear Fashion week took place, with spectacular shows put on by the major Fashion houses. Trending fashions included sheer materials, oversized overcoats, denim on denim, hot pants, and delicate colours such as pastel blue, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. Amongst all the famous names was Dame Helen Mirren who walked down the runway in a stunning outfit in the L’Oreal fashion show.
Back here in our beautiful city, fresh from Paris, our latest stock of cheese has just been cleared and we will be bringing it in to the shop tomorrow about lunchtime. Therefore, in theory, we should have all our cheese here, including Delice, Vacherousse, Brie de Meaux, Tomme de Savoie, Roquefort etc.
In our meat range we have a new stock of French style, traditionally made pork rillettes, this is slow cooked pork with a little garlic and spices, that has been shredded and packed in its fat, a very traditional French dish which is served chilled, spread on fresh baguettes and some cornichons. We also have venison and prune terrine, pork terrine, creamy duck liver parfait. Plus, a range of terrines in jars from France.
New savoury sauces this week include freshly made, traditional French style mayonnaise and Aioli. These are made with fresh eggs, vinegar and sunflower oil and Dijon mustard which gives the authentic flavour. I put mayonnaise on almost everything, its great for dips as well, especially with crisp fried potato chips. The garlic mayonnaise is very popular in the southern part of France and is a great accompaniment to fish dishes.
Our French patisserie range keeps flying out the door, I keep increasing the quantities to match the demand. This week I will tell you the story of one of my favourites, the Mille Feuille pastry (thousand layers), one of the most famous French pastries. Records first show this pastry being made in 1651 by Chef Francois-Pierre de la Varenne from Burgundy, in his book Cuisinier Francois, which was one of the most influential cookery books of early modern French gourmet cuisine. The Mille Feuille is made of three layers of multi turned puff pastry, interspersed with two layers of crème pâtissiere, topped with a sugar glaze and frequently decorated with streaks of chocolate. Nowadays there are many versions of this amazing pastry, as each chef develops the recipe according to their preference. Please remember to pre-order if you would like some, as we have a limited stock.
For my recipe this week I roasted a shoulder of pork, stuffed with fresh oranges, the oranges softened down and gave a delicious flavour to the meat. The crackling worked like a dream, but I think I should improve my carving skills. I paired this with a glass of Combe Pilate Viognier, a totally organically produced wine by Chapoutier, grown on the Rhodaniennes slopes of the Rhone valley. It worked really well. See my recipe below.
Tonight, is First Thursday in our City of Cape Town and the Alliance Francaise du Cap is opening an exhibition of “Thoughts by Others” by the Congolese artist Itombo Bondjimbe Guelord. Tomorrow night at the Alliance Francaise du Cap, will be the screening of RWC2023 France versus Italy at 9pm, which should be an exciting match. Do come along and enjoy the French spirit. The French rugby captain Antoine, has been cleared to play, following surgery to his broken cheekbone in an earlier match. That guy has some serious strength, most of us would still be languishing in hospital after an injury like that.
Enjoy your weekend now that the weather has finally started to warm up.
Suzanne and The French Market Team