Rather fancifully, the Sunday Times (22 Jan 07) suggests some great market shopping ideas to recreate some great “restaurant” quality meals – fine if you happen to be in France, but probably not so easy even if you have easy access to somewhere like Borough Market in London. But nevertheless I know it to be true that whilst on holiday in France you can buy great ingredients, but don’t have the best recipes to hand – so maybe it would be worth photocopying some seasonal recipes and packing them with your favourite kitchen knife (so seldom do you find decent knives in gites or villas) – although if flying do not put them in your hand baggage. The other trick is to focus on the relevant local produce – get local and seasonal and you probably cannot go far wrong.
The Sunday Times picks out Mirande (32 Gers, Midi-Pyrenees) and its Monday morning market for foie gras, free-range poultry. “Also brebis (cheese made from the milk of Pyrenean sheep), prunes from Agen, red Madiran and white Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh wines, and all kinds of charcuterie — you might even find some wild-boar salami.”
For a different gastromic emphasis Vaison-la-Romaine (84 Vaucluse, Provence) is highlighted for “olive oil from nearby Nyons and garlic from the flat lands of the Vaucluse. .. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for Banon (an appellation contrôlée goat’s cheese), local honey and whatever is the latest seasonal fruit. The nectarines here are superb.”. I still want to return to the wonderful farmer’s market held most summer evenings at Velleron (84 Vaucluse, Provence
somewhere to stay, a ferry, a train or car hire?