French MarketNews 18Jan2024-Paris Mens Fashion Week-Cruises-Gruyere aged-Black Winter Truffles-Cheese Preserves-Chestnuts-French Market recipe 2024 03

Published on: 24 January 2024

Bonjour Dear French Market Friends,

Fashion is the driver this week in Paris, the Fashion industry flew in from all over the world for the Paris Mens Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2024. 74 designer brands are represented. Organised by the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, this is the place to see what trends are coming through and to view all the beautiful people in uniquely designed outfits. The shows are the centre of fashion inspiration. The top designer houses always come up with some new and spectacular outfits for the guys. The importance of these shows is that they enable the design houses to share the wealth of the knowledge of fabrics, creativity and style, which gives opportunities to many aspiring young people to be recruited and trained into the ranks of the Fashion Industry, plus the shows set the trends for the coming year.  For example last week, at the Golden Globes awards, on the other side of the world, in Los Angeles, many of the stars were dressed in French designer outfits. Looking the epitome of sartorial elegance, in a Louis Vuitton dinner suit, was actor Colman Domingo. ( Image credit Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Here in Cape Town our long summer days continue with many visitors enjoying our beautiful beaches and warm summer days. From our shores we see many large cruise boats sailing around the tip of Africa, heading for the port of Cape Town. This week the Finnocampus passenger/freight liner was clearly visible off the Camps Bay shore and while we enjoyed photographing their boat, onboard the crew were enjoying taking images of the magnificent view of our beaches and Table Mountain.

In our unique cheese shop this week we have received a large wedge of the aged Gruyere from Switzerland. This is the real deal, with an intense flavour and hard crumbly texture, a favourite cheese of our famous Conductor Bernard Gueller who popped into our shop, the day after the hugely successful opening Summer concert, of our own Philharmonic Orchestra with world famous pianist Olga Kern which I thoroughly enjoyed.

We have stock of other alpine cheeses. The importance of these alpine cheeses is the rich mountain pastures on which the cow’s graze during the summer months. The Beaufort d’Ete is another example, coming from the Franche Comte (the French often refer to this cheese as their favourite of the alpine cheeses) due to its dense texture and depth of flavour. Slightly more delicate in taste is the Tomme de Savoie, more pungent is the St Nectaire. Slightly softer in the centre is the Morbier du Jura with its unique layer of ash running through the centre of the wheel.

In our soft rind cheeses we have plenty of decadent Delice triple cream, gooey Vacherousse, flavourful Brie de Meaux and very special Brie with a layer of Truffle. Our Camembert from Normandie has a different flavour from the Brie, more tangy, we now have it in 1 kg wheels which we can cut into any size slice that you require.

We have received a new stock of individual jars of preserves made for us to complement the cheese boards. We have several different flavours including bitter orange marmalade, Onion and rosemary chutney, Tomato and chilli chutney, Fig and thyme preserve, Cranberry (canneberges) jelly, pear, ginger and lime preserve. These come in different sizes mini 30g jars and larger 130g jars.

The season has changed for the fresh truffles from Italy, we are now in the Winter black truffle seasonThe Tartufo Nero di Norcia is harvested in La Norcia, Italy. This black winter truffle is one of the rarest truffles. The outside is a shiny coal black colour, the inside is also dark with thin white veins. The aroma is intense. The best way to serve is shaved over a neutral flavoured dish, such as an omelette or scrambled eggs. Please pre-order as we do not carry stock in the shop. If you order by lunchtime, we can usually get them in overnight during the next morning, Monday – Friday. Price is R58 per gram. For wine pairing, an aged white Burgundy is recommended, you need the intensity of the flavour to pull through.  We have a beautiful Pernand Vergelesses chardonnay 1ier cru currently in stock which has intense flavours which could pair well.

Chestnut trees were planted in France since the Roman times, During the 17th century, due to a shortage of wheat flour, the French king encouraged the planting of forests of chestnuts in the Ardèche to provide food, as the nut can be ground into a flour to make bread. The chestnuts are highly nutritious and gluten free so popular for many different reasons. The chestnut forests are harvested in November and many French dishes produced for the Festive Season are made with chestnuts.  We stock whole cooked chestnuts and crème de Marron which is a sweet, smooth chestnut paste.

For my recipe this week, I decided to share a rich chocolate chestnut cake recipe with you. Made with chestnuts from the Ardeche, this cake has a dark chocolate topping. Accompany the cake with a bowl of crème fraiche. This recipe comes from my favourite Good French Cooking book by Mapie, Comtesse de Toulouse-Lautrec. See recipe below. I think the best pairing would be with a glass of Cognac.

I hope that you have a relaxing and peaceful weekend soaking up the sun and watching the boats sail by.

Suzanne and The French Market Team

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping