April 27, 2011

The Markets of France

Spicy Olives

Asparagus and New Garlic

When you travel to France, in order to get the most complete, quintessential French experience, you must spend a morning at le marché.
 
If you're staying in a big city, your hotel or holiday rental should have a list of all the neighborhood markets, but if your vacation takes you out into rural France, finding a comprehensive list of regional markets isn't always easy.
Until now.

I came across this brilliant website over the weekend: Marchés de France.
Just click on your region and it brings up a list of each market town, including the day and the time of the market, the number of stallholders and what products are available.
(Just remember to turn down your speakers before you click on the link. The music isn't bad, but it is loud!)

French Cheese

Some Market Hints and Tips:
  • Get there early for the best selection, especially in the summertime
  • Talk to the vendors and don't be afraid to ask questions
  • Taste the samples that are offered
  • Take small bills 
  • Bring along your panier, even if you go with the intention of "just looking." Believe me, you will find something you want to buy - think of those irresistible, ripe melons and peaches, or locally grown olives marinated in garlic and thyme, and all the varieties of French cheese...
  • Enjoy yourself!

Olonzac Market


Related Links:
Olonzac Market Day 
Lyons 4ème - Marché de la Croix Rouge (Lucy's Kitchen Notebook)
To Market, To Market... (Croque-Camille)
The Sunday Market (David Lebovitz)
A Day at the Marché d'Aligre (My Melange) Pin It

20 comments:

Graham said...

I would add that, especially in touristy markets, beware of rip off stalls. The worst are hard cheese stalls that strong sell with samples and charge 50% over the odds. Other culprits are died saucisson from undeclared origin and overpriced olives and dried fruits.

Cindy and Joe said...

Thank you for sharing this site. We have returned from the Wednesday market in Uzès with some of the most amazing strawberries. Yum!

Vivi said...

That is a great find, thanks!!

Sharon T said...

Oooh, your photos make me even more excited to get to France! I love wandering the markets wherever I go. In Paris, we are staying in an apartment right on Richard Lenoir so the market will be right at my doorstep!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What great markets and produces! Nothing can beat farmers' markets.

Cheers,

Rosa

Chez Loulou said...

Graham
Sounds like you've had some bad experiences.
I agree about the really expensive cheese vendors. We had one in Olonzac but he disappeared about 6 months ago. Never encountered dyed saucisson though. Sounds awful!

Cindy and Joe
Yes, strawberry season is here! We're enjoying them almost every day.
Uzès is a lovely town. Haven't been in a few years, but have very fond memories.

Vivi
Thanks! I thought so too.
The markets are always an attraction when we travel around France and I could never find a good, regional list. Voilà!

Sharon
You'll be eating very well, I think...
:)

Rosa
I couldn't agree more!

Murissa Maurice said...

That is such a handy tool! I will have to make sure I save it to my bookmarks for next year!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Emm said...

Olives and asparagus and new garlic -- culinary heaven. Thanks for that link.

J Bar said...

Wonderful shots of the market.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Virginia said...

You captured le marché perfectly. I don't know which I will choose first. Hmmm maybe some olives and cheese and then..........I want it ALL!~
V

PS have I told you how much I love your banner?? Gorgeous.

Chez Loulou said...

Murissa
Definitely bookmark it! It is one of the best lists I've ever found.
You coming to France next year?

Emm
You are very welcome.

j Bar
Merci!

Virginia
I would enjoy it all if I were you. :)
Glad you like the banner. The wisteria flowers are gone now, so I'm glad I captured them in all their beauty.

Sarah said...

How pretty everything looks, especially the fresh garlic.Thanks for the website with the list of French Markets.

croquecamille said...

Hey, thanks for the link! I totally agree that the market is a great place to get a slice of life in France.

Chez Loulou said...

Sarah
I look forward to the fresh garlic every spring. It is delicious!

camille
It is! I love seeing the different regional products when we travel around France.

Bergson said...

j'ai faim d'un seul coup
ça sent trop bon tes photos

villas in france to rent said...

These photos are great - have you considered uploading them to somewhere like iStock? I especially like the one of the cheese with the check red material, lovely.

Smashing blog :) keep up the good work

Chez Loulou said...

Bergson
Merci!

villas
Some of theme are for sale through Getty images. Glad you like them!

:: Sheriff of Nothing said...

Hmmm... Checked out the listings for La Creuse and there's loads missing from the list. Still, nothing's perfect.

Chez Loulou said...

Sheriff
I think the communities add their markets to the list themselves, so that might be the reason.

Travel to France with Ferryonline said...

One of the main reasons for travelling to France in my opinion is the markets, fresh food, especially the cheeses, so for this handy site - thanks for sharing.

Bring on the summer months, but I agree don't be fooled into payng silly prices on some of the stalls, have a wander around the whole market first, get youyr bearings then spend!