When one thinks about France, one of the first things to come to mind is the food. Cute little corner cafés, freshly baked French breads, the array of French cheeses; the fresh seasonal delights of a French market and the pastries… oh…the pastries. And so it goes on and on. On our holidays you will get a little taste of France.
For me, it really is the access that one has to good fresh, locally produced produce. Virtually every city, town and village in France has a market day, and the size of the town largely dictates the size of the market. Ours, on a Friday morning consists of a fantastic veggie stall and a boucherie (butchery) van. Apart from this we also have the coquillage van on a Thursday evening, where, you can buy the freshest of the fresh shellfish, produced just 30 minutes from our doorstep.
Then, there are the indoor markets know as les halles. Most larger cities or even towns might have a permanent indoor market that is often open every day of the week – in some instances even on Christmas morning. Within an hours drive of our village we have 3 fantastic indoor markets each with their very own atmosphere and range of produce. It’s hard to pick a favourite.
Béziers les halles is the smallest of the 3, but for me the closest, so I tend to spend quite a lot of time there. It’s not very big, but has everything one needs to create a delicious meal:
- A fantastic butchery with a good selection of meat, poultry and charcuterie.
The crêmerie has an amazing array of French cheeses. From locally produced goats cheeses, to the firm favourites such as a well, matured old Comté.
- Veggie stalls packed full with their seasonal offering of fresh fruit and veg.
- The bakery stall with its’ enticing aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries.
- And then of course we mustn’t forget the fishmonger with its’ mind blowing choice of fresh fish.
- The space also plays host to a couple of restaurants, which means the buzz continues well into the mid afternoon once the food stalls have closed for the day.
With this array of fresh produces at one’s fingertips creating a tasty meal is almost effortless. My chic picnics always feature a range of their cheese and cold meats as well as my freshly bake tomato tart made with the best tomatoes that I have eaten anywhere in the world. A taste of France all in one meal.