A comprehensive list
One only has to look at the number of ‘French Markets’ now taking place in the UK, especially French Christmas Markets, to realise how much we Brits enjoy French food and French produce. And market day is not just a day for selling and buying, it’s a major social event, an excuse to chat with friends, they are an intrinsic part of French life.
Provencal markets are no exception, they are more than just a food market, and there’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle and noise, jostling with people of all ages and sizes amongst stalls. Search out food indispensable to Provencal cuisine – colourful vegetables, sun-kissed fruits, fish like you have never seen before, a multitude of cheeses, locally produced meat, hams, olives, bread. Some larger markets sell everyday items such as table linens, shoes, clothes, plants and books; some even offer antiques and artwork. You’ll also find crates of live chickens, or live eels, soon to be killed and cooked before your eyes!
Lorgues market, each Tuesday morning, is a perfect example as, in addition to the above goods, you can purchase freshly cooked chicken, paella, even Japanese and Vietnamese dishes to take away.
You’ll need to get up early to get to the fresh food market; market traders will have set out their stall by 8am and by 12noon they will be packing up. Fish, meat and cheese stalls are usually held indoors, often in attractive glass-topped buildings with walls decorated in colourful tiles.
During the summer you’ll also find night markets, taking over an entire town with stalls down every street sellng sweets and saucisson rather than fresh fish and vegetables. The emphasis is more on jewellery, clothes, arts and crafts. Also watch out for the Christmas markets.
The National Council of the Arts of cooking selected the following Provence markets from among hundreds of others throughout France for the quality of their products and their environment.
Isle sur la Sorgue, which also has a flea market
Another speciality of France is the Truffle and the following markets have truffles for sale from November to March
Apt, Saturday morning
Carpentras ,Friday morning
Chamaret, Monday morning
Grignan, Tuesday morning
Nyons, Thursday morning
Richerenches, Saturday morning
St Paul Trois Chateaux, Tuesday morning
Suze la Trousse, Friday morning
Vaison la Romaine, Tuesday morning
Valreas, Wednesday morning
Throughout the year, there are special Country Festivals
Apt, Festival of flavours, October
Cairanne, Bien Boire et Boire Bien, between end May and end September
Carpentras, Festival of Provencal flavours, mid August
Cavaillon, Melon Festival, mid July
Chateauneuf du Pape, Fete de la Veraison, big mediaeval wine festival
Coustellet, Fete des Paniers, Basket Festival, mid August
Vaison la Romaine, Culinary Duo, festival of soups and culinary days
Les Vigneres, Apple Festival, late September
Velleron, Farming market Festival, lst week August
Velleron, Festival of new wines, mid November
Cavalière (June to September)
Bormes-les-Mimosas (Pin de Bormes)
GiensHyères (Place de la République)
Bormes les Mimosas (Vieux Village)
Le Rayol-Canadel (April to October)
Hyères (Avenue Gambetta and Place Clémenceau)
La Favière (mid-June to mid-September)