Farmers’ Market

One of my favorite things to do with my family is visiting market halls and open-air farmers’ markets. I love the idea that many food vendors prepare their artisan cuisine on site using fresh ingredients produced by local farmers. I appreciate the abundance and the variety. Plus, I love the possibility of discovering something new.

I’ll never forget the time I went with François, Rachael, and their boys to the Sunday Farmers’ Market in Tournefeuille (about 12 km/7.46 miles from Toulouse in southwest France). In addition to food grown locally, the market featured produce from other countries in Europe, as well as Asia, and Africa. Talk about a treat for the senses!

I marveled at all kinds of marinated olives from Morocco…

There were organic Medjool dates from Israel, fennel from Italy, and dried apricots from Tunisia. I also saw deep purple eggplants, bright green avocados, and Napa cabbage from Spain.

I heard the tapping noise of a steel skimmer spoon as the chef scooped a generous portion of his aromatic paella from a 3-foot wide pan into a paper container for a customer…

I was mesmerized by the machine making radiatori pasta. François got some fresh mushroom ravioli, which he made with a rich and creamy Parmesan sauce for dinner that evening.

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I remember seeing jars of what looked like foie gras (fatty liver of duck or goose) and feeling a bit guilty. I know I shouldn’t have felt bad since the delicacy is not banned in France like it is in California. On the other hand, seeing the French-style salami had me hankering for a saucisson-beurre-cornichon (sausage, butter, and mini pickle) sandwich!

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One of the things I enjoy most at farmers’ markets is the aroma of fresh baked bread. When I noticed the man selling fresh baked baguettes and pastries had one chocolate croissant left, I had to have it!

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For breakfast, I usually have yogurt, a banana, and dark roast coffee with a splash of half-and-half. When I want to treat myself, I have a butter croissant. And when I really want to be indulgent, I have a chocolate croissant. I learned that, in France, these goodies are called different names depending on the region.

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From the book, Atlas du français de nos régions by Armand Colin (2017)

pain au chocolat in Paris

So when I ordered the chocolate croissant, I was delighted to ask for it by name the Toulousain way: Je voudrais une chocolatine, s’il vous plaît!

chocolatine from Toulouse

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