Julie WhitmarshMarkets in Provence and Cote d'AzurTaste

Saturday is market day in Apt and I love it!

I always think it’s a shame that we don’t have the same approach to markets in England as they do in France.

As I sit with my first coffee of the day and a ‘pain au chocolat’ in a cafe in Apt, the whole town is bustling, full of people and chatter. Continue reading here for Julie’s description of the Luberon town of Apt on a Saturday morning – market day. Arrive early to get the best choice of seasonal produce, arrive later to get the authentic feel of this dynamic market where you can buy everything from underwear and fabric to roast chickens and North African spices.

Food Specialties from Apt

The production of candied fruit in Apt dates to the time of the Popes in Avignon (1309 to 1376). According to archival texts, these religious figures enjoyed crystallized fruit as gifts. Much later in the 19th century, the popularity of this speciality from Apt spread as far as England for use in fruit cakes and other desserts. The candied clementine is so perfect it looks like a glass paperweight.

Marcel Richaud Confectionery
112 Quai de la Liberté, 84400 Apt
Closed Sundays

In 1962, several of the remaining confiseurs (candy makers) in Apt joined forces to form a cooperative called Aptunion. This collective operation allowed players to modernize their operations, share marketing expenses and other costs. As a result, La Maison du Fruit Confit opened its doors in 1988 with a wide selection of candied fruit and other products. There is also a small museum and tea room.

La Maison du Fruit Confit
538 Quartier Salignan D900
84400 Apt
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 76 31 66
Open daily

Candied Clementines (Clementines Confits) with Moroccan spices
This dessert can be made all year! When I am in France, I buy clementines from Corsica. In Los Angeles, I can find clementines (sometimes known as Cuties in the U.S.) throughout the year. It’s a simple dessert that can be served by itself or cut in julienne strips and served on top of ice cream, yogurt or a pound cake (The French version of a pound cake is Quatre Quart)! Please note that the clementines will be a burnt orange colour once they are candied because of the Moroccan spices.
Check out this recipe
Candied Clementines Clementines Confit Moroccan Spices
Quince Paste - Pâte de Fruit de Coings from Provence
Quince resembles large, tough pears. The cooking time for this recipe will vary depending on the fruit. Serve quince paste (pâte de fruit de coings) with a selection of hard cheeses for an appetizer or an alternative to a sweet dessert.
Check out this recipe
Quince Paste Recipe By Chef Tasha Pâte aux Coings
Pâte de coings (Quince Cheese) with a Cheese Course
The following recipe for pâte de coings a Provencal mother's tried and true method. Pâte de coings or quince cheese a traditional Provençale recipe, which takes time to make. This thick jelly is lovely served on its own or with aged Compté cheese. It’s also one of the 13 traditional Christmas desserts served in France. 
Check out this recipe
Pâte au Coings Cheese course Winter menu

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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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