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Entries about provence

Paris Markets

Marche Saxe Breteuil

I love Paris. I also love food, food markets, indoor and outdoor markets of all kinds. In my younger days, one of my favorite shopping experiences was going to the Englishtown Auction in New Jersey in the early hours of a Saturday morning and wandering. There were rows and rows of outdoor tables to see first, then it was on to the indoor buildings to warm up and find coffee. Outdoors, the best stands and finds were the independents. You literally never knew what you would find. I once found a copper sculpture of a Paris cafe for $3 which I still own. I refined my haggling skills here. Indoors, the Amish had a booth every week where you could buy fresh and amazing cheeses. As the years went by, Englishtown became more of an indoor mall with no true bargains and the outdoor tables were more commercialized with vendors who sold socks, jeans, and other outlet-type goods.

After the old Englishtown Auction, my all-time favorite market is La Boqueria in Barcelona. That is in a class by itself and sets the bar for all markets everywhere.

Since this is my second long stay in Paris, I have decided to visit as many markets as I can in no particular order. On a Spring trip to Provence a few years ago, I went to as many of the Provencial markets as I could. I loved them all. There were flower markets, flea markets, and food markets galore. Many of my favorites were in Aix-en-Provence. So Paris markets are going to have to be something special to meet my standards.

My first Paris market trip was to the Marche Saxe Breteuil which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays. I had read that it was part food, part flea market and is known in particular for kitchenware and linens. Although I found pots and pans and a variety of clothes, the ubiquitous scarves, and an abundance of fruits and vegies there were only a handful of other food vendors and no linens at all. There were a couple of poultry vendors and I opted for a cooked, rotisserie chicken. I also bought cheeses, olives, and my mandatory baguette. All in all, the produce was the highlight of this medium-size market. I discovered an heirloom tomato called coeur de boeuf . The tomatoes and the olives were the best products here. The French pumpkins were pretty and shaped differently than those I am used to.

Posted by teethetrav 01:29 Archived in France Tagged provence la_boqueria marche_saxe_breteuil englishtown_auction_nj aix_en_provence french_markets Comments (0)

Escape to Uzes

Provence France

Do you ever play the “could I live here” game when you travel? You know. Where you fantasize about retiring or merely running away and living in a place. I have found a few locations that meet my imaginary standards. My criteria admittedly is elusive. I require charm, places to walk to so I don’t need a car, non-touristy, good restaurants, some culture and maybe even an artists’ enclave. I guess I have lengthy list.

I found one such fantastic place in the village of Uzes in Provence. First of all, it’s in the hills of Provence. It’s gorgeous and sunny and has lovely streets dotted with boutiques and shops. There are small bars and restaurants that made me want to sit and linger and watch the world go by. If I ever disappear…


Posted by teethetrav 09:21 Archived in France Tagged food france travel provence uzes Comments (0)

Arles Market Day

Markets in Provence

Arles Market Day
The first Wednesday in any month, the open air market in Arles stretches as far as the eye can see with all types of goods. Two main streets are a tangle of shoppers and vendors vying for your euros. You can separate the tourists from the serious marketers easily. The regulars all come prepared with their wheeled baskets to get their fill of produce, spices, meats, cheeses, fresh breads, olives, and fish.
Stands are organized by their products. Fish vendors line up next to one another, as do the cheese vendors and the olive vendors and so forth. I was especially intrigued by the stands that specialized in garlics. Who knew there were so many kinds of garlic?

The aromas fill the air; herbs de Provence, lavender, the pungent olives, and fish all tempt you. I purchased aged gouda, a boule, olives, and a small jar of tapenade and made a picnic lunch. The olives were the best I’ve ever tasted. The bread was crisp on the outside and airy on the inside, as only French bread can be. The warm cheese and the bread melted in my mouth.

Further down the rows, there were dozens of tables filled with clothing and shoes. There were nice things, but no real bargains as far as I could see. I did buy a pretty scarf for two euros though. There were several bargain tables. Anything on the table was one euro. There were the predictable vendors selling table cloths and napkins made of Provençal fabrics. They were all pretty and inexpensive. The only problem was choosing which one to buy.

There was a family showing a goat and asking for donations to “save the animals.” Whether or not the money goes to this cause, I gave them a couple of euros. I figured the goat had earned it after standing around being gawked at. DSC03139.jpg

The locals warn you to beware of pickpockets here, since it can get fairly crowded. The general food market is every Wednesday and Saturday.

Posted by teethetrav 07:07 Archived in France Tagged markets france spices goat provence arles gouda french_bread Comments (0)

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