Saturday, September 20, 2008

Villereal 20/9/2008

Saturday has come round again and so, this morning we went off to the market at Villereal....

Local village markets in France, like the one at Villereal, are a trading post for all sorts of businesses...

There is a lot of food, stall after stall of delicious looking fresh fruit and vegetables, often being sold by the producer themselves, several fishmongers with their refrigerated display trailers and lots of very appetising looking fish and seafood....  This morning, one fishmonger was cooking moules marinière at one end of his stall and I stopped to watch as he poured a couple of bottles of Bergerac sec, the local dry white wine over a mountain of mussels and then liberally added hand fulls of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley.

The skillet was about 600mm (2ft) diameter and by the look of the sack and the pile of mussels I would guess he had about 5 kgs (11lbs) of cleaned mussels.. 

The word marinière in French simply refers to the method of cooking in dry white wine with garlic and some herbs....

There are also a lot of cheese stalls and today we bought some delicious goats cheese from a small producer who's farm is just outside Villereal and whose cheese we particularly like..

But as well as food, there are also lots and lots of other traders present.... During the week, working in garden I broke my watch strap, so part of today's visit was to see if the watch man could repair it for me....  Sadly, he couldn't as I had lost some pieces when it broke and he didn't have anything that would fit...  But he had a whole range of similar watches for very little money so in the end I settled for a rather nice large faced watch to replace the broken one...

One of the restaurant/bars which are in the market place was closed for annual holidays today so all the other bars were very busy but we managed to get coffee and some croissants at one of our favourite restaurants.....

Then I had to pay a quick visit to my bank before returning to the car to drive home...

Lots of people talk about excellent Farmers Markets where you can buy good fresh produce but here in France I believe we have the best of both worlds.  The farmers' stalls are excellent but a weekly visit to the market can encompass so much more than just buying fruit and vegetables

2 comments:

chaiselongue said...

Yes, we're very lucky here in France with the village markets. They're meeting places as well - our market in Gabian has only a few stalls, but it can still take me half an hour to get round it because of all the people I stop and chat to! I'm sure Kate will love Villereal market when she goes there with you next Saturday.

Roger said...

This sounds wonderful and just the very type of thing Kate will really enjoy. I am sure she is going to love France. I am looking forward to reading about your adventures together.