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G - 114 : Et Dieu vit en France

These Peppers were sold in the Cours Saleya, Nice' weekly market

One of the pleasures of being in France are the weekly village and town markets. A blend of farmers’ and traders’ markets they offer produce fresh from the farm but also a pair of jeans for ten Euros. In towns, they are often held twice a week - on Saturday and Tuesday. On our journey along the French Riviera we should have the chance to visit several.

The Cours Saleya in Nice was established between the Town Walls and the first Row of Town Houses in the 18th Century. It was called Palco in Italian: a Place where you show up

French markets are unique. There is an unbroken tradition going back several hundred years. Despite supermarkets many French people continue to buy their vegetables and fruits in the weekly markets. People leave with bags filled with produce for an entire week. French markets do not only offer fresh produce, there are also olives ready to eat, all colors of Tapenade, olive oil from a local orchard, dried fruits, fresh meats, all sorts of sausages, fresh or dried herbs, dozens of cow, sheep and goat cheeses, local wines and breads. Whatever makes part of the French cuisine you will find. Visiting these markets is a mouth watering experience.

Many of the 1'600 distinct Types of Cheese France offers are sold in weekly Markets

Contrary to the farmers markets we know from England or the USA, French markets are also traders’ markets where lots of day-to-day items are sold. Need an affordable summer dress, a pair of inexpensive jeans, a shirt, a table cloth à la Provençale, a leather belt, straw hat for the summer, soap from Marseille or massage oil, local cutlery or plates, a souvenir to take home? You will find it. The French are proud of their “Produit Artisanal”, the items made and sold by local craftsmen. The quality is good – so are the prices. Love that the producers sell their products themselves. You can ask how they are made. They are happy to tell. Nobody is stressed. There is always time for a chat. It is personal shopping at its best.

Some of these "Produits Artisanales" could also be sold in a Flea Market

French markets are all year markets. They are larger in summer when there is more to sell and shrink in the winter when only winter vegetables, apples, nuts and dried fruit are available. Also, there are no tourists during the winter season. Most craftsmen and artists won’t set up their stalls but work at home to make items for the next season. But still, the markets take place every week. Visiting them is a ritual. The markets open between 7 and 8 am. After 9 am it is impossible to find parking nearby. You better get up early.

The very popular Market in St Tropez on Boulevard Louis Blanc

The French culinary tourism market is with EUR 28 bn turnover still small but one of the few industries with two-digit growth. French food is without any doubt a dream given its great selection of dishes, cheeses and wines. More and more people around the world want to learn about it. The number of foreign students who come to learn the trade is on the rise. The same is true for culinary tourists who book package trips for wine and cheese making combined with cooking classes. The number of food festivals in France is also rapidly increasing. Common to all these activities is a visit to the local market. No celebrity chef will refuse taking his class to the local food market and let them choose what to cook. It is part of the fun – we will do the same! God lives in France - so do we!

Vegetable Market in Nice with fresh Produce - Farm to Table!

If you want to learn more about the markets on the French Riviera, go to the site Angloinfo which provides all the details you need

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