French Market News 7Mar2024-Paris JO2024-CycleTourCPT-Truffle Brie-Parmigiano-Frozen Pasta-Sauces-French Market Recipe 2024 11 Spaghetti SaucePesto

Published on: 10 March 2024

Bonjour French Market Friends,
This week the City of Paris is continuing preparations for hosting the Olympic Games 2024. From access and security control to managing hundreds of thousands of visitors. The French Interior Minister announced the details of the plan for the Opening ceremony on 26th July. The Ceremony will take place as a public procession on the River Seine, instead of inside a stadium. 360,000 tickets are being sold just to watch this procession along the banks of the river. Representatives from 200 countries will board a total of 180 boats, of which 94 will contain athletes. The 45 minute ride is going to be an iconic event. Having personally cruised on the Seine in the evening, and seen the monuments lit up, I cannot think of a more impressive route. I wonder how much Champagne will be drunk and French cheese will be eaten?

Sports events also happen in our beautiful city. This week we are having to drive with great care up and down the mountain slopes, as 30,000 cyclists are converging on us, to gear up for our 46th Cape Town Cycle Tour 2024. This is still the largest timed sports event in the World. All the revenue raised from the event is distributed by Cape Town Pedal Power Assoc and the Rotary Club of Claremont to charitable causes. The majority of the helpers at the Start and all along the route are members of different voluntary organisations who use the income for their services provided to distribute to their charities. Over the last few years approximately R50 million has been donated.. As a member of the Rotary Club of Claremont I get involved in helping to make sandwiches for volunteers, so think of me on Saturday afternoon making hundreds of sandwiches and getting up at 3 am on Sunday, to help at the Start..

If you are partaking in the race and needing to boost your energy then take some Crème de Marron with you, this is roasted and pureed chestnuts blended with sugar into a smooth paste which we stock at our shop. Make some sandwiches with this crème and nibble them as you cycle along, just like the French cyclists.

Back in stock this week is some Truffle Brie. This cheese is made with two layers of Brie with a central layer of a cream of truffles. It tastes amazing, as does the Truffle flavoured Cheddar from Cheddar Gorge. Also from England, we received new stock of Stilton cheese. This has come in as one large cheese, which we cut into slices and some smaller (mini) 1kg whole Stiltons, which are beautiful for a cheese board.

We have a new stock of Buche de chevre, this goat’s cheese is made in the shape of a log, with a dry crust on the outside and chalky texture in the centre. We also received wheels of Epoisses from Burgundy, this cheese is washed with Marc de Bourgogne (brandy) and is probably one of our smelliest cheeses, therefore highly regarded by the French, as a top representative of the washed-rind style.

From Switzerland we have received a new stock of 15 month aged Gruyere this dense cheese has a crumbly texture due to the crystallisation and a great depth of flavour. We have also received a stock of Appenzeller which has a dense texture but slightly milder flavour.

For residents who are hosting cyclists, and planning carbo loading pasta meals, we stock frozen pasta from Italy, there are fillings of Truffle and mushroom, spinach and ricotta, 4 cheeses, tomato and mozzarella plus plain spaghetti. We have a wide range of sauces from Italy that just require heating up and pouring over the pasta. These include a truffle and parmigiano cream sauce and a mushroom and truffle sauce.

One of the important elements, that I find in simple Mediterranean country recipes, is the taste of the core ingredients. When these ingredients are local plants that are well suited to a particular soil type or environment, they thrive and have a greater depth of flavour. One such simple dish is pasta with a pesto sauce. A fresh basil pesto is one of the easiest sauces to produce if you have the right ingredients. Basil thrives in our region and the flavour is excellent. Another key ingredient is the 18-month matured Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy that we stock, this adds a beautiful depth to the taste and the third is pine nuts, which add a delicious tang. Mixing this sauce with a simple plate of spaghetti creates a dish full of flavour and is ideal for carbo-loading for cyclists. See recipe below. I suggest serving this dish with a glass of rose from Provence, such as the Whispering Angel rose available at our French Market shop or online at

We wish all of you best of luck if you are cycling this weekend, eat lots of carbs and have plenty of fun.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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