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MARKET pages

12 May 2016 : Barcelona            jump to this page > > >
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A small sampling of Boqueria treasures

14 May 2016 : Barcelona            jump to this page > > >
Slow Saturday
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Mercat de Santa Caterina

Our bodies having (mostly) arrived, and remembering our traveling pace, today was a perfect day. Our first task was to find a printer to print our TGV tickets for Monday.

18 May 2016 : Collioure            jump to this page > > >
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Today is market day in Collioure, and so that's where we start out. An interesting mix of tourist crap, useful durables, farmers' goods (beautiful!) and prepared food that looks gourmet to us (see the paella below).

We don't need anything, but can you go to a market and not buy? We can't! We could share an artichoke for dinner -- we have been on a "big meal at lunch" regimen since we got here, and then salad at night, and that's working well for us. Mushrooms too beautiful to pass up, ditto the strawberries. The man who grows the strawberries insists I buy some of this kind and some of that; when he sees I have already made that choice, he complements me on my perception.

The real treasures are the local melon and some mountain lavendar honey, but I know it will all be good. Two shopping bags full for 25€.

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21 May 2016 : CÚret            jump to this page > > >
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Cherries we found. Cherry beer, cherry pie, cherry pizza, cherry juice and wine, cherry blossom honey, every cherry theme thing you can imagine and some you can't. The town brass band was playing loudly in the square, people were barking their wares, old friends were seeing each other (for the first time since yesterday) and exclaiming loudly, hugging, doing the European triple kiss. There were dogs, babies in enormous eight-wheeled crispers, little old ladies with enormous wheeled shopping baskets...

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There was the cutest miniature pig and goat right in the middle of everything, and everybody was snuggling close and saying (in French), “Aw...” I had to scritch the pig. It was just as bristly as I expected. The goat wanted, as do all goats, to have its horns scritched, so it butted in.

There was going to be Sardana a little later. There were going to be a lot more people, too. This is Céret's biggest annual event, and while I'm glad we happened to be on time to see it, the crush of people isn't exactly our thing. I did find the knife of my dreams (still my fave in 2023), and we bought some cherries and white asparagus. The stall keepers are phenomenally generous and attentive; they seemed to be having the times of their lives. The goat and the pig were, too. 

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25 May 2016 : Sète            jump to this page > > >
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Wednesday morning in Sète is market. All the streets around the daily market are closed to traffic and covered with stalls and people. I think the French like their markets as much as our family does; even if they don't need anything, they always go ...and always find something they need. Streaming away from the market we see dozens of folks with their rolling market baskets. See them, and go the way they're coming, and you find the market.

In the square closest to us, there were a dozen different sellers of plants -- flowers, vegetable starts, exotics. I guess the French gardeners like their starts leggier than we like ours.

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Prices are outrageously cheap, compared to ours or to the supermarket prices. There's no emphasis on "organic," because most small gardening in France is, by decree of the European Union, done "bio" -- without chemicals and pesticides. 

Today the Euro is worth $1.12, so that's about 80 cents for an enormous head of organic lettuce. Every kind of produce is labeled by origin, and most, even the tomatoes, are from France, probably from greenhouses. Much of the fruit, which is gorgeous, comes from Spain.


We come away with lemons and oranges from Spain, a little Charentais melon from France, and some gorgeous red garlic.

6 June 2016 : Mirepoix            jump to this page > > >
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The market fills the streets, both pedestrianized and usually used by cars, for a total of, perhaps, 12 blocks, with certainly well over 100 stalls. Many of the vendors work several markets, and have elaborate set-ups which get erected before 9:00 when the market starts, and are gone by 14:00, an hour after the market officially ends.

It would be easy to live from the Mirepoix market if you could discipline yourself to shop for a week each Monday. The vivid market culture is the reason that supermarkets are not such a big thing in France ...and that seems a good thing to me.

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A random sampling of the goods at Market this morning

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Market People (mostly vendors)

next group : Ile d’Oléron

other topics:    Lunches     Dinners     Transport

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