Heart and Soul – Coeur et âme

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(In English below)

J’ai toujours pensé qu’un marché traditionnel représentait le coeur et l’âme d’un pays:

  • Le marché et toujours au centre du village ou de la ville. Il est au centre de la communauté.
  • Le marché se tient souvent le samedi ou le dimanche. On ne fait pas ses courses (à la course), on fait son marché. On peut prendre son temps!
  • C’est un lieu ou les gens se rencontrent, se parlent, plaisantent, partagent
  • Les vrais producteurs présents connaissent bien leurs produits et son heureux de vous les venter. Passion, conseil et service qu’on ne peut pas retrouver sous les néons d’un supermarché
  • Les produits sont locaux, de saisons et bios pour la plupart

Chers amis, allez au marché! Soutenez votre région et vos producteurs. Plus cher? Peut être, mais rapport qualité prix toujours au rendez-vous!!sbsbsfb

I always thought that traditional Farmers’ markets represented the heart and soul of a country. Weather you are in France, in India or in Vietnam:

  • The market is at the center of the village or town. It is at the center of the community.
  • The market is often held on Saturday or Sunday (in France at least). You can take your time!
  • This is a place where people of all walks of life meet, talk, joke, share…
  • TMost vendors are really passionate about their products and are always very eager and excited to talk about them. Passion, advice and service that can not be found under the neon lights of a supermarket
  • The products are local, in season, fresh and mostly organic

Dear friends, do visit and promote your local Farmers’ market! Support your farmers, fishermen, cheesemongers… 




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  1. Sadly, here in San Jose, they are more of the “in” thing. So we have Farmer’s Markets from Wednesday to Sunday. Which often seems like the farmers pick their produce on Monday or Tuesday, then sell it at the markets Wednesday thru Sunday. So, unfortunately, it is not always that fresh. Some farmers travel hours to this area. So to me, sometimes their produce looks as if it has been sitting around for days unrefrigerated. And many do not seem like the farmers you mention “vendors are really passionate about their products and are always very eager and excited to talk about them”. Some of our area farmer’s markets even have arts and crafts and a ton of food booths. Some farmers markets have seem to gone the way of Art and Wine Festivals. With less emphasis on local organic food and more on festival type of stuff. They are also run by one or two companies . . . so again, the “local farmness” feel kinda goes away. They are kind of like outdoor grocery stores. Sigh.

    • That’s what I like most about the markets here. Their authenticity. They are getting quite bad in the really touristy areas such as Provence. The best ones are found away from the water where the tourists gather most. If there is something I can’t stand, it’s cheap arts and crafts. One of my favorite areas in the world is Carmel in California, but it has become polluted with bad art galleries and cheap furniture etc…

      • Yeah, I am sure there ARE some Farmers Markets in California that are more authentic, but some in my area are not. The one I go to is still small — it has not gotten entirely commercial yet. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of the wonderful market you have access too! And . . . that is sad about Carmel. I haven’t been there in a long time!

        Happy Day, Stéphane!

  2. I luckily live an hour’s drive from Montréal where we have the largest farmers’ market in North America which is the largest in North America and open year-round, or the Atwater Market (a little smaller but very convivial). Near home, there are a few “marchés champêtres” where local producers offer their wares. I much prefer getting my produce there, for the atmosphere, the quality, the human contact. Yes! Let’s promote local producers. Wonderful pictures, as always.

    • I use to live in Montréal. The largest and best lobsters I ever had in my life. What a lovely country you live in Louise!!!

      • Ah oui… le (défunt) Ritz-Carlton et le bassin aux canards avec le thé à l’anglaise. Rien de tel que les sandwiches au concombre. A nice country (except for those dreadful winters) but not as nice as your region of France. Nothing beats Yquem, Margaux, Haut-Brion, Estèphe et compagnie. ;-P

  3. So true my friend!!! There is nothing like a market, if you want to know the country. Really nice to see you back… Hope the diets going well…

  4. I love the markets in France but we’re fortunate in Cleveland to have a number of wonderful farmers markets. I’ll miss them when I move (which, if our house inspection goes well) will be by the end of the month. There are markets in the suburban Chicago area where we’ll live, but none as good and year-round as the one in Cleveland.

    How’s the diet going?


    • The diet is going well. I have lost 11 pounds so far. I think I cheat too often, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t obsess about it or make myself feel guilty… You are so lucky to be moving to Chicago!!! It was the first city I even lived in when I moved to the States. Such a fantastic city. The countryside in both Illinois and Winsconsin is lovely as well with all the red barns and small towns… You are very lucky indeed. Can’t wait to read your first posts from there…

  5. J’aime bien le marche aussi. Le qualite est toujours meilleur et on peut prendre des chose comme chanterelles et des autres champignons qu’on ne peut pas trouver dans les magasins.

  6. Firstly I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your blog and also your photos are simply stunning! I look forward to your posts as they always remind me of our favourite holiday in France – so thank you! We loved the farmers markets in France and made it a point to visit them when we could. Of course we support the markets where we live but they just don’t have that charm that the French markets have in abundance…

    • Why thanks so much for your lovely comment! I must say that I very much enjoy reading your blog as well. The baking recipes help me a lot as I am not a very good baker myself… Thanks again and please come back often ;) :)

  7. Love your photos as usual Stephane. Lucky for me Melbourne has embraced the farmers market with great gusto, and the best of the best artisan organic products are on my doorstep! ( but not in the outback, I haven’t eaten bread for 2 months!)

    • Oh my god! 2 month without bread? I could take the snakes, the spiders, even the sharks, but no bread? Shoot me now ;) :)

  8. Lovely photos!! I do love the Farmer’s market. We are blessed in Southern California to have to many wonderful ones close by

  9. I just heard on the radio yesterday that Farmer’s Markets in Massachusetts now exceed 250 which is almost double what they were less than five years ago. Apparently people are now realizing the benefits of eating organic, fresh produce! Still the ones I’ve been to although fun do not compare to the ones on your blog!

    • That’s great! I agree. I think people everywhere are getting smarter and smarter about what they eat and the way they purchase and eat it. Although the other day, I saw a documentary on TV about women in England who only feed their kids, even babies, fast food… There is something wrong I think with watching an 1 year old suck on greasy fries…

  10. We have a farmer’s market every Thursday afternoon in our small Texas community. It is nothing like what you have in France but we are happy to have lovely eggs, breads and produce!

    • Oh that’s great. I’m sure the athmosphere is great too! I hope one day I get to take you to my market here! ;)

  11. We went to the farmers markets this past weekend It’s always such a joy seeing the artisan breads and fresh, local produce. Of course, we don’t get anything near what you show in your photos. We don’t have anything near the selection of tomatoes and you can just about forget the cheese, candy and fish. Oh, well.

  12. This is truly heart and soul. Beautiful pics, as usual. I have a market nearby open six days a week. There is also a beautiful shop next door with French wines from Languedoc and wonderful cheeses from Pyrenees. However, every two weeks, there is a real farmers market where local producers bring their wonderful home made goose or lamb sausages, freshly made goat cheeses and organic vegetables. This is a treat and I am trying to go there as often as I can. Best, Lilia

    • I’m the same! I go at least 3 times a week. Sometimes, I don’t even buy anything. I just love to walk through it and talk to the farmers and producers…

  13. Stunning pictures, Stephane, as usual. It is unfortunate, but here in the States I don’t think we have this culture of the real Farmer’s market. When I visit those Farmer’s markets, at least in my area (coastal Connecticut, close to New York city), I always question the source of the produce – was it really grown by local farmers, or was it acquired at the nearby produce wholesaler…

    • Here the “con artists” are quite easy to spot. All their cheeses and vegetables look the same. Same sizes, same color…

      • Are the outdoor markets in the other regions of France real farmers markets, like those you would see in the US? The marchés ouverts that I’ve seen here in Paris are for the most part not real farmers markets where the vendors actually grow and produce what they sell. In fact, they pretty much all get their products from Rungis and most of the products aren’t even organic. I’ve only seen a handful of vendors here that are real farmers, which is quite a shame.

        • When you get away from the tourist spots and deeper into “real France”, the markets you find are MUCH more authentic

          • That’s great to hear because I was really bummed when I found out that none of the stuff I’ve been buying at the outdoor markets here came direct from the farmers. At least there are AMAP services here, which are like the CSAs we have back in the US. I’m thinking about signing up myself for one of the AMAP services in my area.

  14. Je suis bien d’accord ! C’est au marché que je vois défiler les saisons, que les gens ont le sourire car ils ont choisi d’être là, on a l’amour des produits et des bonnes choses, on parle, c’est un endroit humain… Et chez nous dans le Nord, les produits locaux ne sont pas chers, après tout, c’est une région pauvre, alors les producteurs ne gonflent pas les prix :)

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