Sunday, March 25, 2012

Market goodness

Saturday 1
I've been writing about living in France for over six months now and I don't think I've ever mentioned the famous open air markets. I can hardly call myself a Life in France blogger without a post on the market, but there's a reason I never get around to photographing our visits there. The markets, bien sûr, aren't just there for the tourists, they are an essential part of daily life here. If you don't buy most of your fresh produce - fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat - from the markets when you live in France you are really missing out. The offerings at our local supermarket aren't bad but once you've tasted what's available at the open air markets you will be hooked

We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of two markets, which means we can get fresh produce on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays! However, the charm of the market is also the frustration. While it can be a pleasure to stand in line waiting your turn for the vendor to give you his or her personal attention and advice on what is most in season, sometimes you don't want to spend all morning buying a chicken and a few vegetables. Especially if it's raining and you've got all four kids with you. Add to that, the fact that you have to stagger back home with all your purchases (there's no car parking on market day because that's where the stalls set up) and the desire to take your big camera to photograph the experience is pretty much gone.

Yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day though, the whole market experience was a pleasure. I got to go early by myself, beating the crowds so that I could browse the stalls without holding up the other shoppers, and all of a sudden every stall was filled with spring produce. My list was far too long and my bags too heavy to take the camera, but there was plenty to photograph once I got home.

Saturday 2
Cheese - made just for us?

Saturday 3
Flowers for the big ballerina.

Saturday 7
Lunch outside for the first time this year.

Saturday 6
Our first French strawberries of the season.

Saturday 4
Juicy goodness!

Saturday 5
Fresh baguette.

Saturday 9
Shallots all strung up waiting to go in the dinner.

Saturday 8
Shelling peas for the first time ever.
Maybe it was just me, but I could never find them in the States.
Yesterday, these petits pois were piled high at the market.

The markets don't just sell food...

Saturday 10
I picked up a spring sweater for me

Saturday 11
and I was so tempted to buy this little painting. The brocante guy told me the price (150 euros) was a cadeau (gift) and maybe he was right. I do love a seaside scene but there was no room in my market caddy for it. Should I go back next week and see if it's still there? What do you think?


  1. On the painting, YES! Oh, this would be a lifelong memory of the wonderful time you and your family spent there. You would have to buy three more paintings, one for each girl to help the youngest remember the glorious time in the enchanted land!


    Ps - thanks for arranging the weather!

  2. I think the painting is gorgeous too. But then you could also buy a lot of strawberries for 150 euros! Depends what you want! I agree the markets are a wonderful experience but can be hard with all the kids in tow. I like nicking down to ours on Sat mornings as I can leave the kids at home! Nothing like your market though, ours is very small.

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