Since Bastille Day — or le 14 juillet to the French — fell on a Thursday this year, many French people faire le pont which means they take Friday off to have a 4-day weekend. Faire le point literally means make a bridge, and like every summer, my town gets really quiet since many are already off on vacation. Tom’s not working today so we took advantage of a local farmers’ market not far from where we live. Places like this make me happy and after last night’s terrible terrorist attack in Nice, I think the world could use a little more happy.
A Friday trip to the farmers’ market
I don’t usually post on Fridays but wanted to share a few pics with you today. My thoughts are with Nice right now. ;-(
Growing up in suburban NJ, I always looked forward to the fresh produce from the local farm stands that set up shop on the side of the road each summer. Some were actual shops and others were private farms selling the excess of their harvest on roadside picnic tables. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and more just taste better when they come direct from the farm.
In France, I’m happy to say that it’s quite easy to find locally harvested produce. If you drive 10 minutes from my house, roads look like this. Two cars can barely pass safely and you see more cows than humans as you drive along! The market culture is one of my favorite things about the French lifestyle.
The little market we went to today has a store on the property where they sell a selection of what they grow on site as well as bananas and other types of produce they don’t grow themselves. One misconception about farmers’ markets in France is that all the produce is local, but that’s not the case. Sometimes it doesn’t even come from France and the sellers buy pallets of produce wholesale from the same suppliers as the supermarkets. I guess the concept of what’s “better” is a personal choice but for me, if I have the opportunity to visit the actual farm, I go for it and enjoy the experience.
Tom and Dagny waited outside while I had a look around and scooped up some strawberries, lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini grown on the property. For some reason, if I go out of my way to get produce from a market, I’m better about using it all up before it goes bad. It’s starting to get really warm so I think a cold cucumber buttermilk soup is in order.
Here’s a shot from the inside of the little store looking out.
And a few tropical fruits mixed in with the fruit grown on the property. Don’t forget your straw bag!
What are your favorite summer recipes to make from fresh produce? Is there a farmers’ market or farm stand in your neighborhood? Tell me below please!