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What’s not to love about garlic?  It smells good, it tastes good, it’s good for your health and it keeps vampires from the door.  And so what if it lingers?  Make sure whoever you are smooching is a fan of garlic too and your problem has miraculously disappeared.

In the French markets right now they are selling “new” garlic which is just too lovely to not photograph.  So here are a few pictures that I couldn’t resist taking.  Don’t you love the delicate colours?

Garlic 01 Garlic 02 Garlic 03 Garlic 04 Garlic 05

Ever since I arrived in France in 2011 I’ve been visiting the outdoor markets to buy fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese and fresh herbs.  It’s such a pleasant way to shop.  Of course, you will always find expensive tourist markets, but if you can find the real thing, the markets that the locals use for their weekly shopping, then you really can’t go wrong.

In Lyon I used to go to the Thursday market by the river on my way home from work for fruit, vegetables and huge handfuls of herbs.  On a Sunday morning I would go to Place Carnot for fish, eggs, cheese and flowers, sometimes stopping at the boulangerie on the way back for an almond chocolatine, which if you haven’t ever had one is something to behold.  A cross between a pan au chocolat and an almond croissant.  Very difficult to beat in my book and perfect with a post-market morning coffee once the shopping has been put away.

In Bordeaux it was the Marché des Capucins and then in Caussade it was the Marché de Caussade every Monday morning come rain or shine.  It was there we discovered black radish, rutabaga, and Swiss chard which I had never cooked with before.

There’s something about a trip to the market that is quintessentially French although I also have memories of going to the market with my mother as a child.  Friday was market day in our local town.  It still is.  And I guess English markets on a sunny day are just as appealing as those in France.  I suppose the difference is that so many have disappeared now in England, but in France they are still very much alive and kicking.

Today I visited the weekend market in a little town called Martel.  It was set in and around the ancient covered market place and there were stalls selling plants, fruit, vegetables, local cheese, sausage, wine, olives, bread and pastries, cloth and basketware.  There was even one guy selling vegetables out of the back of an ancient Renault van.  Around the market place were a number of little cafés and restaurants serving coffee and gearing up for lunch.

I understand that supermarkets have their place and there’s always going to be things you can’t get at the market, but if I can give my money direct to the producer and have the experience of an hour or so wandering around the market then without fail I’m going choose this option every time.

What about you?  Where do you love to shop?  Leave me a comment.

Bon weekend ♥

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6 Comments

Philip Ogley · June 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm

There’s also great wine to be had at the markets – and drunk.

    elizabeth · June 11, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Absolutely – you would know all about that 😉

aussiebirder · June 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

We Love Garlic, have it every day, and love the scent of it also , it is a great health sustainer!

    elizabeth · June 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    It’s great isn’t it? I’m not sure I’d ever bought new season garlic before living here. That’s something else I love about shopping at the markets – the food is seasonal which I’m sure is a better way to eat.

Jane · December 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

There’s nothing quite like garlic straight from the garden in summer – crisp, juicy & pungent!

    elizabeth · December 17, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Mmm yes! I’m not sure how fresh from the ground the garlic is here at the markets but I would think it is only a few days old. Smells great anyway!

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