Saturday is an especially active market day, with locals doing their morning shopping at a nearby outdoor/indoor covered city market. Temporary stalls are set up in the courtyard, along with permanent stalls inside, as everyone mills about looking for just what’s needed (and sometimes, what’s not needed, but looks delicious!). Vendors are actively selling their individual wares, while customers queue up (the line is always long at the butcher counter) or just chat – the market also serves as a social event, with the small bar just inside the door, where you see folks having a drink and reading the local newspaper.
The vendors take time to also chat with customers, about the quality of their products, or how to cook them to enhance their high quality flavor; one vegetable/fruit seller even came out from behind the stall to hand me my purchases and personally thank me – they will even sell half of a bunch of celery, which I bought, along with a large “coeur de boeuf” tomato and some endive. The vendor advised me that the large mottled colored red pepper I purchased had an exquisite taste!
The ambiance is lively and yet, personable at the same time, with regulars well-known by the vendors. I intend to be well-known, too!
(2012 All photos © 24/7 in France)