If you are in the Vendee and want good, local food, you can find it. You will have to do a little research and a lot of driving around. However it can be done and I think it is well worth the effort. If you ever try living on Leclerc food, you will, too.
The local markets are one place to start. Mine is on two mornings each week. The market is off the main drag and there are no signs until you are already on top of it but once you find it it is easy enough to find again. Does it have an ATM? No but a short walk will bring you to one. How about a place for coffee and a croissant? Sort of, a scruffy little place across the street.
So okay, it’s no San Francisco Ferry Plaza. Anthony Bourdain will likely give it a miss. But it is replete with local producers and organic goodies. You can get house – made patés and sausages. This morning I picked up five kilos, yes, kilos, of grown-by-the-vendor apples for six euros, so deals are to be found. The vendors are honest, pleasant and patient with my limited French. For me, the market run is always enjoyable.
The goat cheese in the photo above is from Bellevaire, perhaps my market’s only A-team vendor. If you know them it is probably because of their spiced butter, which is sold in fancy markets in Paris and elsewhere. Nobody out here buys spiced butter. However Bellevaire does a big local business in raw milk products. They also sell perfectly stored cheese and carry a large selection of locally produced cheeses.
I’m having way too much fun with this. I’ll save the other local producers for later.