Moving to France
A new beginning for Rhae & Keith Elliott
Life in France
Markets are a way of life for the French and if you wish you could visit one on most days during the holiday season. If you visit France do try and visit at least one market while you are there as it is such a good way to immerse yourself into the French culture.. Markets can be addictive! They are great places for buying fresh produce, especially fruit and vegetables and, depending on location, for buying meat, fish and poultry. Look out for individual stall-holders who are locals selling their own produce - such as melons, eggs or strawberries. They are easily distinguishable because they only sell one type of produce, so you know it will be fresh – probably just harvested and thus likely to be cheaper and of a better quality.
Take the opportunity to sample the regional specialities on offer in the market with no obligation to buy anything. Stall holders selling foie gras, saucisson, olives, cheese, bread and more all encourage you to taste their produce free of charge. Depending on the size of the market, many other things can be bought such as wine clothes, jewellery, toys and kitchenware. There is so much of interest to see and gives it gives you the opportunity to try out your French. There are also a wide variety of specialist regional markets usually devoted to a single produce – for example truffle markets, garlic markets and those specialising in seasonal fruit. For those interested in antiques/brocante it is possible to visit huge open air antique markets as well as indoor warehouses.
These are a real blessing if you have arrived on holiday on the Saturday. It is possible not only to buy fruit and vegetables but also cooked (hot) chickens which are delicious. Often you will have the choice between an ordinary chicken (le poulet) and a free range chicken (le poulet fermier). These are more expensive but are worth trying. Often the chickens are cooked with potatoes, making for a tasty and easy Sunday lunch. In some Sunday markets there are alternatives to chicken such as lamb or gammon, and it is possible to buy these meats by the slice
In Central France producers pride themselves on their healthy produce. Many farms have farm shops and a lot of the specialist producers run culinary courses.