Tomorrow is market day. “So what?!” , I hear you say, but if you were living here you would know that ‘so what’ is anything but the right answer.
Shopping for food at the market is so much more than just checking off a list. In fact, if you listen to my husband who regularly does our market shop, you don’t go with a list to the market … you go with an open mind and let yourself be inspired.
Because that is surely a major part of good cuisine – inspiration, letting yourself be guided by whatever is in season, by whatever looks the most appealing. By following the advice of your fishmonger when he tells you that this week is the ideal moment to be eating Coquilles Saint Jaques, or when your red fruit producer calls you over and invites you to taste the raspberries because “they have never been so good, and next week they’ll be over”
Yes of course, it is in their interest to sell their produce, but it is more than that, it is a question of shared pleasure, of pride, of quality and appreciation. The care with which the produce is presented, and the way that clients are prepared to stand in line to buy their preferred variety of apple, or their favourite cheese … all this is the sign of a dedication to quality and fine cuisine that is at the heart of many people’s lives.
So that is why, on Saturday (and other) mornings in towns all over France, you can find the farmers market simply by following the people walking with their market baskets at the ready. That is why the car parks will be full, and the terraces of the cafés busy, as clients sit down after their shop, and with their over-flowing basket and the occasional dog at their feet, they enjoy a coffee and discuss …. the menus for the weekend ahead.