Au Marché

Ah, nuts!
Francesca's Organic/Bio Nuts

Now that I'm home, I buy produce at the farmers' market on Saturday mornings (there are others on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well) something I rarely did in the past. I miss Metz much more than I missed Bristol, perhaps because I met more people in France than in England (go figure, my spoken French is horrible and English is my mother tongue). This ritual is similar to my Saturday mornings there, maybe that is why I have latched onto it.
The mushroom lady...
Sorry, I don't have a business name for her!

American farmers' markets are different than French braderies. They are almost exclusively produce, agricultural products, and food, while the marchés also have household and personal care items and clothing. I outfitted my apartment in Metz during one frantic morning at the marché. I had the bad sense to move into town on Easter weekend, and as I found out, unfortunately for me, Europeans actually take holidays off, they don't use them as opportunities to shop (or hold) holiday sales!

Free samples from Swank Farms,
Organic/Bio produce

Then there are the samples.  Many vendors here set out sample plates.  French vendors will give you a sample taste if you ask, but they don't generally set out a whole spread. I think there are actually people who come to the farmers' market with the intent of making a meal of the freebies!

This week, I picked up some chanterelles to put in a crème sauce I saw on Les Cuisines de Garance, except I added a dash of the pasta water, which contained vegetable stock. Crème sauces tend to be a little heavy for my taste, and the stock lightened it up and added a subtle complexity without overpowering the mushrooms.

Bon weekend!

More Information: Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association