French Market Day

Every six months or so, the French Market comes to town with its weird and wonderful stalls. I missed the last one as I was still at work, but whilst I am still on maternity leave I thought I would make the most of it. I must apologise that I didn’t dare take any pictures of the stalls, I always feel very conspicuous when the seller is staring at me in the face.

It was a little bit disappointing to be honest, I hoped there would be a few more stalls, especially food ones. I felt cheated there was no Tartiflette. And I’m always surprised that the French music one ever comes back at all, I can’t imagine the kind of people in my neck of the woods who would listen to post-war French music. I don’t listen to it myself and I have never understood the interest in Edith Piaf, I think she warbled horribly.

Anyway, I was hoping for a more interesting hot food area, but there was only hot potatoes and prawns and I didn’t fancy that at 11am. Still, there was a wonderful selection of dry sausage, or saucisson sec in the lingo, including some made with Kangaroo, Bison and Ostrich meat. Some of them looked a bit too moldy even for me so I settled for an old favourite, pure pork with Provençal herbs. I’ll readily admit it doesn’t look so good but I’m looking forward to the taste immensely.

There's a sausage in there somewhere!

There was also a biscuit stall, and I bought some Galettes Bretonnes made with butter, ideal for dunking in a nice cup of tea. The guy was also making crepes but since I can make them myself for a portion of the price, I decided to pass.

Biscuit goodness

The cheese stall as always is particularly interesting to me. I love it that they always put it right on the edge, presumably to save the other stalls from the smelly fumes. I went a bit mad and bought three cheeses. One of them, the little one at the top, is called a Crottin de Chavignol. It’s a rustic goat’s cheese that tastes wonderful grilled over fresh bread. ‘Crottin’ is the word usually used to describe horse, zebra and donkey poo, but in this case, it apparently is a local term meaning ‘hole’. The French Wikipedia page explains this in more detail if you’re interested. The heart-shaped one is a Neufchatel, it is soft and mellow, whereas the one in the middle is a creamy Camembert.

The whole kitchen is enjoying these

The best stall of all is the bakery. It has an outdoor oven and they make fresh croissants and pains au chocolat. So I bought some, and bread, and also lovely patisseries, namely a slice of flan patissier, apricot tart and a fruit tartlet. I wasn’t thinking about who was going to eat all this, so it’s going to be a nice unhealthy weekend for us!

Tonight's dessert or tomorrow's breakfast

9 thoughts on “French Market Day

  1. I am with you on Piaf. This summer we go to go to the market at Les Herolles. It is the biggest and oldest outdoor market in France. I was in heaven. Everything on sale from peacocks to ponies and soap to saucepans. Wonderful place.

    • A Frog at Large says:

      Sounds amazing, I’ll have to check it out next time I’m down there. In fact, I am quite ashamed I’ve never heard of it, when I grew up just round the corner in Limousin.

  2. Hi Frog, when you mentioned the Galettes & tea it made me wonder: what’s your opinion/thoughts about the kind of tea English people drink? Is there a wide variety? Do people have one favorite affordable brand that they drink religiously every day? I’m a big tea fan and I’m curious about their relationship with tea. Thanks!

    • A Frog at Large says:

      Yes, there is a lot of choice and people are very particular about how they take their tea but I’m not sure if the brand matters or not. It’s (almost) all the same to me but we go for PG Tips in our house, which is I think/guess a brown breakfast tea (as opposed to, say, green tea). Some people, usually but not always older, prefer loose leaf to tea bags. What I do know however, is that English tea is good and French tea is disgusting, even if it comes from the same company. We made the mistake of buying Twinings tea in France and it was foul.

      Anyway you ask an excellent question and I think I might expand my thoughts on this in a proper blog post. Watch this space!

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