Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Avallon - Saturday Morning Market

Lillian :  The Saturday morning market in Avallon is really wonderful.
Audrey : So much lovely fresh, seasonal food.

Strawberries / Fraises

Artichokes and wonderful tomatoes / artichauts et tomates

Audrey :  There were lots of those tomatoes - so red and shiny and ridged - they looked splendid but not like the tomatoes we are used to.
Lillian :  I think they are Marmande tomates, one of the beef-steak varieties. 

Lillian :  We were in Avallon in early Spring - it was the 16th April.  The season for radishes (radis), artichokes and asparagus.

Radishes, large artichokes & flat swedes / rutabagas

Asparagus / asperge

Audrey :  European asparagus isn't green, it is fat and white ... and yummy.  The food markets in France are wonderful - even the cabbages looked great.
Cabbage & celeriac / choux vert & céleri-rave
Lillian : Our people were astounded at the range of vegetables and the freshness of everything.  We don't see some of these vegies in Australia - Trevise is a radicchio, the beautiful Choux Romanesco are ... well they are simply gorgeous!   
I've found a lovely web site about them here.  

Audrey : So much colour, so many varieties of things - even onions!  This seller had 5 different varieties of onions plus 2 types of garlic and hazel nuts, which the French call noisettes.

Melons / melons

 Audrey : In the photo above - bright yellow tomatoes.  
In the photo below - bright yellow plums.

Lillian :  Ah - Mirabelles.  Our people ate lots of those later on, in Nancy.  

The French staples - bread & cheese.  Such beautiful bread and so many different cheeses.

Audrey : Some of those in the photo on the left are Époisses - a cheese that is so terribly smelly, it is banned from being carried on public transport in France.  Our stylist has eaten this cheese and she says it is really very nice - here is a link to a wikipedia article about it  Époisses.
Lillian :  In the deli section there were some yummy looking pies and terrines and some poitrine fumée ...

Lillian :  Most of that produce was in the covered market building - la halle du Marché  Couvert.

Outside, in rue mathé, there were some clothing and bric a brac stalls and some wonderful busking going on - 


Audrey :  They were such fun and sounded great - our people bought their CD!  And the band weren't the only people wearing whacky outfits ...
Lillian :  Yes, there were random medieval folk wandering about - part of Carnavallon.  Avallon's 3 day Springtime / Easter festival.  All good fun and slightly anarchic.  We'll tell you all about it in a future posting.
Audrey : But now, back to the food we ate that evening.  Mostly bought at the marche, including some gorgeous fresh goat's cheese purchased from the young woman who made it.

 Lillian : It was yummy and really very cheap.  
Oh, a hint if you would like to self-cater during a holiday in France like we did occasionally ... pack a cork-screw (in your checked baggage) as most of the wine bottles have corks not screw-tops.

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