Fool for France

The postcard French market experience

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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.

2 Replies to “The postcard French market experience”

    1. Oh, Gerard, I’m just getting started. The artisan producers have been knocked sideways by a number of factors but they are still there. The bottom line — which I hope to take my time reaching — is that if you have the time to find your sources, you can eat really well while meeting the locavore gold standard of having everything organic and produced within 50 miles of your home. If you will go 100 miles? Let me check my Google map but I think you can go up to Burgundy, down to Bordeaux and well out into the ocean.


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