Visit My 3 Top Picks for Small but Perfect Provencal Markets
There is something wonderful about a traditional French market and over the years we’ve spent a considerable amount of time ambling around them in different towns across the Country.
The nice thing is that each area expresses its own identity through its markets – with the wonderful seafood stalls, full of Langoustines and other delights along the West Coast…..
Through to the more earthy produce including home produced Confit Duck & Foie Gras in the Dordogne…
And of course the fruits, olives and lavender of Provence.
…Continue reading here for details on Julie’s top three (3) choices for small Provencal markets that you should plan to visit: Isle sur la Sorgue (on Thursdays, it is much less crowded than on Sundays), Bonnieux (for views and the market) and the Sunday farmer’s market in Coustellet.
Here is a comprehensive listing of the daily markets in Provence and the Côte d’Azur, by area. In addition, to markets watch for signs along your travels that read “vente directe” or “vente des champs” or the like, this is your chance to buy directly from the farmer. At these farm stalls, the hours and selection may be limited, but rest assured you are buying just-picked produce, at the height of the season.
What to do with that lovely produce?
Check out our Provencal Recipe Directory for dinner party ideas and much more.
Spring menu: After the cold days of winter, spring arrives with a light touch: green vegetables start to grace the markets and rich foods give way to lighter, zestier dishes. Vibrant colours and flavours excite the palate. The first asparagus spears make beautiful salads, fresh chevre and local bread turn simple salads into delicious meals, and creamy light desserts complete the experience.
Summer menu: My favourite season is summer when apricots taste like candy and tomatoes are literally bursting with juicy flavour. It’s no wonder that ratatouille is a classic regional dish in Provence, the aubergine (eggplant), courgettes (zucchini) and tomatoes are all ripe at the same time during the summer.
Fall menu: Certainly, in most places in the northern hemisphere, the days are markedly shorter, the leaves are changing colours to rich, warm tones (reds, oranges and yellows). The harvest is done for most kitchen gardens, ahead of the frosty days. In Provence, the grapes are harvested and starting to become the next vintage. Bright root vegetables are on display in local markets. Foragers search for mushrooms in their “secret” spots.
Winter menu: Hearty dishes suitable for cooler evenings and days filled with outdoor activities. This menu includes some traditional ingredients Jerusalem artichokes (topinambour), almonds, leeks, chicken and squash.