A Travellerspoint blog

Another Day, Another Market

sunny 26 °C

It's Sunday and today we are taking a break from the tour des châteaux, (actually we are not – we just thought you might like to see the other side of life on the banks of the Loire). Sundays are market days in many towns and cities in France and the riverside town of Amboise is no exception...

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Amboise is a sleepy town between Blois and the bustling city of Tours but it comes to life every Sunday morning with one of the biggest markets in this part of France. It's a beautifully warm autumn morning here with clear blue skies and the flower stalls are laden with colourful displays...

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Clothes, shoes, bags, household goods and even mattresses make up a large part of this market which is strung alongside the river under an avenue of giant plane trees, but it is the food that gets our attention. Pork hams and dried sausages are a major feature, (note the wild boar's head)....

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However, it would seem that dried sausages, (saucisson), can be made with any meat and flavoured with almost anything. One display even has sausage made from kangaroo meat. Cheese is another staple of the French and there are hundreds of different kinds in the market today. Where to begin? – cow, sheep or goat; plain, flavoured or coloured; young or old; soft or hard or somewhere in between; mouldy or clean; ripe or not. Decisions: decisions...

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Fresh mussels, scallops and oysters from Brittany are very popular and relatively inexpensive, but there is a bewildering assortment of seafood on offer. Where to begin?...

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And the bread; the pastries; the mushrooms; the nuts; and the fruits and vegetables. Everything here is a delight for the eye, the nose and the palate. We may not be in Spain but paella is very big here...

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Each of these paella pans serves ninety portions at less than five euros a plate – that is our lunch decision for the day. All we need now is some bread and wine – voila!

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There is plenty of local wine for sale in the market but wine is everywhere here. The local hypermarket has a giant tent sale this month. Seasonal tent sales in Canada often mean a marquee full of plants, garden furniture and BBQs, (maybe even actual tents). Here in Amboise a giant tent in the parking lot is overflowing with discounted wines starting at three dollars a bottle in case the 6 liquor aisles inside the store doesn't have enough...

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And if we need a bite for dessert we can always get a crepe or two from the automatic crepe maker...

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Now, back to the châteaux. We have several more to visit but the Château de la Bourdaisiere looks particularly inviting. Maybe we will find a comfortable four poster bed and give our feet a rest for a few days...

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Posted by Hawkson 04:48 Archived in France

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Comments

Wow! The French palate is so refined. And such a cornucopia of wonderful produce on offer. Thanks for taking time out from chateau hopping to share this abundance with us. Gabriola’s last farmers’ market was yesterday, but the farm stands will still be supplying us with local veggies for weeks to come. Thanksgiving!

by Alison Fitzgerald

The love of good food is universal. Love the market stories. I would not mind a chestnut crepe right about now. On to the next adventure. Happy Thanksgiving.

by Sue Fitzwilson

I am so jealous. Would love to visit the market. In Marlow a few years ago, farmers would bring their produce to the park. I remember buying some sausage.

by Janet

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