French Market News7Dec23-Buche de Noel-Crottin Chavignol-Wild Salmon-Crémant de Loire & Bourgogne-Gift wrapped panettone-French Market recipe 2023 44

Published on: 10 December 2023

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,
France’s strong sense of rural heritage has been highlighted this week, with approval by the Senate of laws that enforce the natural rights of the countryside, such as the noise made by animals or the aromas of farm life. This has become necessary due to the increase in the number of people taking up residence in the countryside, often in holiday homes, who have frequently taken farmers to court because their animals, or their behaviour, was found to be noisy or smelly. The new laws in support of France’s rural heritage give strength to the local Mayors as they try and mediate between the original countryside residents and the newer arrivals. One of the most famous cases in 2019 was the one against Corinne and her cock Maurice, because a new neighbour found that Maurice made too much noise and wanted him to be silenced. The judge held in favour of Maurice and his rights to a natural life in the countryside, sadly Maurice passed away recently so he would not have been able to crow with delight in support of this new piece of legislation.

Back here in Cape Town we are racing towards Xmas and everyone is planning their festive meals.
We have the information for the different Buche de Noel that our French patissier Cedric will be making this year:

Buche de Noel-Chocolate Christmas logs – there are 5 types- here are brief descriptions:
Alliance 3 chocolates Buche: Hazelnut Dacquoise, crunchy, white chocolate mousses, Milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate mousse, chocolate icing. Size 12cm 5-6 servings R750

Piemontaise Buche: Hazelnut Dacquoise, liquid caramel, crunchy, hazelnut bavarian, caramel chocolate mousse, chocolate icing. Size 12cm 5-6 servings R750

Tradition Buche: printed cookie, dark chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream, Opera icing. Size 12cm 5-6 servings R900

Succes Praline Buche: French meringue, praline buttercream (hazelnut) with Gianduja, chocolate icing and caremelised almonds. Size 12cm 5-6 servings R900

Chocambroise Buche : Choclate biscuit without flour, raspberry punch, raspberry chocolate ganache, dark chocolate ganache, red velvet decor. Size 12cm 5-6 servings R950

All the Buches can also be made in larger size 25cm 10/12 portions. The Piemontaise Buche can be made in 2 larger sizes serving up to 24. I can advise the different prices.

We need your orders by 15 December at the latest. The Buches will be ready by the 23rd. There is a limit to the number of cakes that our baker can make, as these are true authentic hand crafted buches in the great tradition of French patisserie. Therefore it will be on a first come order basis. Please contact me for more details or to place your order.

This week we received some Crottins de Chavignol AOC. These are the famous, small white balls made from unpasteurised goat’s milk from the town of Chavignol in the Loire. They are dry and quite firm and have a distinctive flavour. As they ripen, they develop a blue grey crust which gets harder, and the flavour gets stronger. They pair well with the beautiful Comte Lafond Sancerre wine from the same Loire region. We also received some Sainte Maure. This is a small log shaped goat’s milk cheese which is dusted with distinctive ash powder. The texture is softer than the crottin and the flavour is gentler. This log is smaller than the regular Buche de chevre that we stock, which has a white crust and an interior with a chalky texture. All these cheeses can be eaten in their natural state or the buche can be sliced and lightly toasted in an oven and served with some drizzled honey and toasted walnuts.

From Normandie we have received some Pont l’Eveque, a washed rind cheese shaped in the form of a square cobble stone, named after a town, called the Bridge of the Bishop. The cheese has a light orange rind with a tangy aroma, and a soft creamy centre.

From Alsace we have another washed rind cheese, Munster, this cheese is made in small wheels and has an orange crust and pungent aroma. The cheese is washed in a mixture of herbs which gives its distinctive aroma. It is often served with cumin seeds.

The most famous of the washed rind cheeses that we stock, is Epoisses from Burgundy, this one is washed in the Marc de Bourgogne, the local brandy. The crust of the cheese goes a dark orange and is incredibly pungent, the centre is very creamy and in comparison, to the crust, is milder in flavour. It is rumoured that Epoisses is banned from being transported on the Metro in Paris!

For the Festive season we have received a stock of wild caught smoked salmon from the Northern Pacific, this has a beautiful texture and flavour, quite different from the non-wild salmon. We have packs of 2 slices and 6 slices. There is limited stock so do let me know if you require some for your festive meal.

In our panettone range we have a delicious apple, cinnamon, and sultanas panettone in a beautiful gift wrap which is proving to be one of the most popular Christmas food gifts this year.

We have received a stock of two sparkling wines from France that are produced outside of the Champagne region. They are called Crémant (as in frothy) because you can only call a sparkling wine Champagne if it was grown in that region. The Crémant de Loire by Renee Fouche is made prominently with Chenin. The Crémant de Bourgogne by Veuve Ambal is made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

For Christmas gits ideas, if you are short on time but want to give your friends a treat, we do offer French Market gift vouchers which we email to the lucky recipient. The Gift voucher can be of any value that you chose and has a one-year validity. You can also order a cheese and wine platter which we will prepare for you and deliver to your friends, or they can collect it from the shop.

I like to make salmon recipes during the festive season. A well-prepared smoked salmon has a firm texture, deep pink colour, and a delicious taste from being smoked over authentic wood fires. For my recipe this week I decided to pair the wild smoked salmon with some tangy buche de chevre and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top, all piled up on some toasted baguette. This is not a difficult recipe to assemble as no cooking is needed, apart from making the fried slices of baguette. This recipe has a great combination of flavours and can be served as a tasty snack with drinks or as a starter for a more extended meal. I recommend pairing this with the Crémant de Bourgogne.

I hope you have a good weekend as you prepare for the Festive season,

Suzanne and The French Market Team

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