Friday, August 5, 2011

French outdoor market

It has been a long time since my last post. It is not that I did not have anything to share but I have been away for almost 3 weeks and did not find time to write.  I know that I don’t have any pressure (my blog having no commercial purpose) but recognize that I have been neglecting my followers and ask them (you) to accept my apologies.

I spent a few days in London, almost a week in France (to visit my parents) and finally a long week-end in Taiwan. A lot to discover, to visit and of course to eat!

During my stay in France I went to the wet market. Going to the Saturday market has become a pilgrimage. Each time I return to my hometown I have to “faire le marché” – shop at the market. This weekly market is held in the city centre, and each Saturday from 6:00am to 1:00pm the heart of the town turns into a pedestrian mall. Not only do I go there to buy food but also to take pictures and chat with my old friends. Vienne is a small town but its Saturday market attracts lots of people from the surrounding villages. This is the place where you are bound to meet friends and distant relatives and hear folks exchanging news and gossiping. 

I particularly like the stalls selling vegetables and fruit as well as the rotisserie (with its spit-roasted chicken) and the olives vendor.

Vegetables / Fruit:  An array of colours!

At this time of the year musk melon (cantaloupe, from Spain and France), apricots, peaches and nectarines are everywhere.

Yellow and green courgettes (Italian squash/zucchini), cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell pepper are also in abundant supply.

Artichokes (I love artichoke!)

Rotisserie: Roasted chicken (poulet rôti)!

During a normal summer day the sun is scorching hot and I don’t envy the stallholders facing the grills! On the other hand in the winter they are the luckiest and their customers are happy to queue up so they can warm up before continuing with their shopping.  No matter the season there are always people waiting to be served. On the day I was there the weather was pretty cool for a summer day and the scent of roasting chicken kept attracting folks to their stall.

Just by looking at these juicy chicken I can still smell their aromatic herbs aroma.

For a few extra € you can get grilled potatoes with chicken gravy.

Next to the rotisserie chicken stall is the olives vendor.

Oil / Olives / Tapenade / Anchoïade / Pissaladière:

Like most of the booth holders the owners of this stall have been selling their goods each Saturday for the past 30 years. At their place you can find excellent cured and marinated olives as well as other Mediterranean food products such as tapenade (spread made with olive, garlic, capers and anchovies), dried tomatoes, preserved lemons (for tajines and other Moroccan dishes), lupin beans in brine, anchoïades (anchovy purée/spread), anchovies marinated in oil, garlic and parsley, olive oil and pissaladière (onion tart with olives, anchovies and herbs).

Olives are presented in large baskets covered with plastic wraps and come from Italy (Sicilian style), Spain (Andalusia - Seville), Greece (Greek-style) and France (Escabèche [marinated with olive oil, vinegar and smoked paprika], Niçoises [very small black olives from Nice], etc.).

I enjoy tasting olives before choosing a variety.  During the past few years my favourite type of olive has remained the Greek style. They are really delicious!                                   

A few streets away from the city centre and far away from the hubbub of the market activities I find calmness walking through the small alleys on my way home with a basket full of fresh produces.   

1 comment:

  1. You are having fun at home :) great pics!