As regular readers of my blog will know, no holiday is complete for me until I have visited a local market to admire all the very best of the local and seasonal produce on offer. The nearest market town to our holiday gite in Cestayrols was that of Gaillac, a town that dates back to the 2nd century AD and gives its name to the local AOC wine.
We kept seeing people walking around with giant bunches of radishes and were determined to track down the market stall selling them so we could take them back to the gite. If you have seen my post on “My Week in Food – French Edition” then you will know we were successful, the lovely crunchy, peppery radishes played a big part in our last few meals there.
One thing I loved about the market in Gaillac was the fact that so many people seemed to be buying whole crates of vegetables and fruits as opposed to just a small paper bag full like you might expect. I suppose that many people lived in small hamlets like the one we were staying in and were buying enough to last them until the next weeks market – food shopping takes a very different approach when you don’t have supermarkets on your doorstep I suppose.
In addition to all the lovely fruits and vegetables we also saw several cheese stalls, as well as butchers, fishmongers and charcuterie of all sorts from the saucisson pictured here to tinned foie gras and freshly prepared dishes you could simply reheat at home like rabbit in mustard sauce, paella, cassoulet and more.
French mushrooms are always delicious, especially as you head into autumn, just look at those cepes! I also loved the garlic with wild flowers you can see here – I wonder if it was just sold this was to look nice – I’m guessing people would hang it in their kitchen or if it serves another purpose?
One of the other things you really noticed was just how random and haphazard and natural all the produce was; tomatoes, peppers, squash and courgettes as seen here and I wished we had been staying longer so I could have done bought some of these wonderful looking figs.
In addition to being able to sample all the saucisse, cheese and other items, we were pleased to spot this lady who was selling salt cod fritters with scotch bonnet chilli fresh from the fryer. I think she was from Reunion if I remember rightly – I love salt cod, especially When it’s packing such a chilli kick!