Sunday, December 7, 2008

Market Day at Coustellet (10/05)

Sunday was market day in Coustellet, a town not far from Roussillon, so we decided to go and explore. I have to admit we were slightly disappointed when we first got there. Parking was insane - so we expected an amazing market, only to find what looked like a flea market with a few food stalls. Don't get me wrong, a French flea market is a shopping dream come true, but at that point of the trip I was limited in packing space and we wanted produce, cheese, and bread. There was a good olive stand, spice stall, and baker whom was nearly sold out. We decided to split up - so J and I had a good wonder around. My in-laws quickly found us as they had just discovered that the main part of the market was across the street, hidden behind the buildings on the main road. This all made sense: all of those cars, there had to be some place for everyone to go! The market didn't disappoint. By the time we got there some of the vendors were packing up. There were still loads of stands with autumnal produce: root vegetables, pumpkins & gourds, apples, squash, potatoes... you get the idea (sadly, I didn't take any photos). There were also stands with home made jams, honey, local wine producers, and my favorite: the nursery stand. It was really hard for me to walk around knowing that I couldn't buy an olive or fig tree to take home. They were so healthy looking and were really reasonably priced.
It was also hard for me to pass up some more of my favorites: rosemary, lavender, and violas. I was in absolute heaven, and if there is one place on earth that has all of my favorite things: it is truly Provence.
To make matters worse, I spotted this Citroën HY. Now I was in seventh heaven. Ever since I first spotted the Citroën 2CV in "Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown"; many, many years ago - I have had a fetish for Citroëns.
It was hard to tear myself away, but lunch was calling. As I walked away with images of owning a vineyard (complete with olive and fig trees, of course, oh... and obviously tons of lavender and rosemary) and driving to the market in my Citroën HY to sell my wine - and probably jams, chutneys, etc... we were off to find somewhere for lunch. The first thing we spotted was this pizza van...
Now if you didn't know (and I didn't), the French LOVE pizza! I have never in my life seen as many pizza establishments as I did in France. Annecy was over run with them. Literally 4 on every corner. Even small villages that we had driven through had several pizza places. Where the UK have fish and chip vans (that you don't actually see all that often, in comparison), France has pizza vans. We even spotted on outside of Roussillon called "Pizza Chris". Bizarre. Anyway, as curious as I was to know what sort of pizza would come out of one of these vans, we had been walking all morning so obviously deserved a sit down meal. And a glass of wine. Obviously. We were in Provence after all! We found a cafe with tables out front, and chose a nice sunny spot for lunch. My first course was a bacon, leek, and goat cheese tart. Wash down with a nicely chilled glass of Provençal rosé.
This was followed by tagliatelle with roasted chicken, tomatoes, and aubergine. Ah, what a way to spend a Sunday.

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