No Saturday is complete without a walk through a French marche. From produce to fresh cheese to meat and fish, a French marche, or market, is a culinary delight and a photographer’s dream. Getting fresh things to eat is often a highlight of my weekend, and although my wallet suffers when I indulge in specialty cheeses and other yummies, it’s worth it.
Farmers markets exist in the U.S., but it’s just not the same as walking to your local Saturday marche where the French farmers and producers know you by name. They greet you in cheery French and fill up your bag with enough fresh produce for the week. It’s nearly impossible to go for one or two things because you’ll be tempted by things you didn’t even know existed! Case in point: Pepper flavored caramel for a savory steak? Why not!
The French buy produce according to what’s in season, which is a great way to shop, so that means you won’t find strawberries in January (old pic below). That can be a bummer at first if you’re used to finding all types of produce all year-round, but then you learn to adapt your cooking to what’s in season.
We have a Saturday marche within walking distance of our apartment and it’s always fun to watch the hubbub on a Saturday morning. The fruits, vegetables and other finds make up every color of the rainbow and I always get a kick out of the men with their baguettes (not a cliche!) and the cute wicker baskets that just about everyone has to carry home their goods.
And then there are the cheeses. You can get something new every weekend and never taste the same thing twice! Strong, mild, gooey, organic and every combination in between, sampling a new cheese (or three) is a must-do at a French marche!
Does the allure of a French marche ever get old? I hope not!