Food excites me. That’s no secret. There was the time I ran into work with a broad smile on my face proudly holding up a bag of black beans. I am nothing but elated after finding an ingredient, a fruit, and yes, a bean that I’ve been searching for.
Angers has been good to me so far. At the supermarket, I found these; Franks Original Hot Sauce, Maple Syrup, Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
I know what you might be thinking. This is what you’re showing us? Syrup and hot sauce? But maple syrup is hard to find for anything less than 7 Euros and hot sauce is virtually non-existent. As I pushed my cart up the long hill home, I planned for pancakes and buffalo chicken. Both are in my future and I can’t help but dream of gastronomic ecstasy.
Located across the street from Anger’s Town Hall, the market winds its way around the parking lots in somewhat organized lines. As with any good market, it’s filled with fresh, farm produce and people by 9am.
Each stand, packed so tight that you can hardly tell one from the next, carries seasonal produce. Late peaches, early autumn grapes, unwashed lettuce heads, and tomatoes were everywhere. But as I wandered along and looked closer there were a few treats – early squash in autumn colors:
And some of the strangest looking zucchini and eggplants:
It’s easy for me to go overboard on the fruits and vegetables. That’s why I only carry one bag. But there’s more to this market than fresh produce. After gorging my eyes on piling fruits and vegetables I wandered over to the non-vegetarian section of the market to see about the other half of lunch.
Butchers, fishermen, and cheese makers have also arrived from their farms to sell their wares. The fish are packed on ice, straight from the Atlantic coast only about 2 hours away. They are so fresh in fact, that some of the crabs were still moving.
Eating for one makes it difficult to choose a cut of lamb or pork. Obviously, I don’t need a whole chicken. I wandered through, my eyes taking in the glistening meats trying to decide what it was I wanted alongside my vegetables. A homemade sausage? Duck or chicken marinated kebab? Paté?
And there are the cheeses. Many of them from local producers with some of the biggest wheels of tomme I’ve ever seen.
That’s a lot of fondue.
The vendors are friendly and attentive, handing out samples to entice clientele. They open avocado, melon, and a dry sausage with the pride and abandon to show off the quality of their wares.
I’ve never done an intense study on the price difference between the open markets and the superstores. It doesn’t really interest me as there is pleasure shopping outside in the bright morning air, buying lunch from local producers or at least not supporting big business. And I could talk about it again and again… Market à la Provençal, This and That on a Sunday
Laying out my vegetables and fruits in the largest bowl I had when I returned home, I realized that once again I had gone overboard. Keep in mind, my tiny refrigerator is already full of other vegetables and fruits.
Oh well. This way, I won’t have to go shopping for the week. Or more. The upside to a fridge-style apartment is that the produce keep for a long time. It’s like living in cold storage.
As for lunch: Duck sausage, baked purple potato and a tomato and Romanesco broccoli salad. Fresh and filling and straight from the market to my plate. After all the browsing and lip-biting decision making; the dreaming of recipes and possiblities, lunch was more than satisfying.