Even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday morning, the nip in the air reminded me that summer is drawing to a close. Am I sad about the change of seasons? Not when there are so many delicious seasonal foods to be found at the local market. So, get your jacket and let's go. But first, here are a couple of French phrases that it's helpful to know when buying fruits, vegetables, nuts and mushrooms:
- Hello I would like... (Bonjour je voudrais...)
- How much? How many? (Combien?)
- And what else? (Et avec ceci? or Et avec ça?)
- Will that be all? (Ce sera tout?)
- That's all. Thank you. (C'est tout. Merci.)
- Help yourself. (Servez -vous.)
- For today (Pour aujourd'hui)
- For tomorrow (Pour demain)
- A kilo (Un kilo)
- 500 grams (Une livre)
|Heirloom tomatoes. Tomates d'autrefois. Delicious with a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel and olive oil.|
Although the fruits and vegetables may be within easy reach, the vendor will normally select the produce for you. You may tell them if you plan to eat it today or tomorrow. If it's alright for you to make your own selection, they'll indicate by gesturing with their hand and saying, "Servez-vous". I had the difficult task of choosing my own tomatoes yesterday. They all looked delicious.
Many vendors will let you sample small fruits like grapes, but it's best to ask first. ("Je peux goûter?")
|Grapes. (Raisins). They're indescribably sweet right now!|
|Mirabelle Plums. Mirabelles.|
|I don't even know what these are called in English. Help!|
I usually stroll through the market to see which stands have the best produce and the lowest prices. Is there a long line in front of a stall? That's a good sign because locals always return to their favorite vendors.
It can be a bit tricky to figure out where the line starts at a market stall, but there is a system. If you're not sure, just stand back and watch how things work before getting in line.
|Eggplants (USA) Aubergine (French and UK English)|
|Fresh Hazelnuts. Noisettes.|
|Potatoes (Pommes de terres). Sorry, Idaho but France has the best ones that I've ever eaten.|
|Fresh walnuts. Noix fraîches.|
Did I miss something? I took lots of other photos but didn't post all of them. If there's a seasonal fruit or vegetable that you would like to see, let me know and I'll take a picture of it for you.
And if you've made if this far, you deserve a treat. At least that's what I told myself when I stopped at the bakery on the way home and bought a sinfully rich chocolate macaron. As you can see, I did something that the French rarely do. I took two (!!) bites of it while walking down the street and then decided to show a bit of restraint by waiting to eat the rest of it until I got home.
|Macaron - delicious! Macaron - délicieux!|