Most villages in Provence have a market day when the main street or similar area is filled with booths selling food, wine, clothing, souvenirs, plants and trees, and the like. Our market in Eygalieres is Friday from about 7am until 1pm.
We headed down about 10:30, found a place to park, and strolled into the market place, which stretches from one end of the main street to the other. We fought off the urge to buy an olive tree to bring home, more Provencal pottery, and shoes, and started working from our shopping list so we would not buy too much.
Fat chance. At our favorite cheese booth we wanted only aged Parmesan for a dish I am cooking, but – when offered samples of a two-year old Comté, and a raw-milk Reblochon – added those to our bag to go along with the Roquefort, Emmenthal, and La Mere Richard St. Marcellin already in the fridge.
Next stop, charcuterie. Here we were good, getting only one hunk of a lean Lyon sausage to be served as an appetizer when our friends come over Wednesday.
Then it was on to two booths which sell terrific olive products. At the first, we bought their anchoiade, a wonderful dip made from anchovies, capers, olive oil, etc. Perfect as an appetizer. At the second, we bought their black olive tapenade, which is finer and tastier than others we have had. Unfortunately, the lady at the booth plopped about a pound of it into the container, more than we could eat in a month. Oh well. It was then that we realized that we already had black olives and tapenade at the house, bought earlier from Domaine Valdition down the road. As with the cheese, we now have way too much instead of just too much.
I spotted a wonderful older gentleman selling special baked goods including sacrastain, sort of like a small baguette made from puff pastry dough and incorporating almond, chocolate, and other delightful flavors. David bought one for me, and the gentleman gently put it in a bag. David said, “tres fragile” and the gentlemen replied, “oui, mais, tres bonne” (yes, but very good) without missing a beat.
The final stop for David was a booth that sells meats and has a wonderful jambon. He bought a few slices to add to those already in the fridge. I’m sure that eventually I’ll open the fridge to see a pig inside staring back at me…
Now it was time to relax at the café. The waitress showed up with a carafe of white wine and two glasses…nice to be recognized. I decided to sample the sacrastain, and – in no time – our breakfast pastry was gone. As the gentleman had sold out, David went into the boulangerie, but came back with a baguette as there weren’t any breakfast pastries left.
There was a clothing booth next to our table, and as the owner was starting to pack up, I thought I might use my well-honed negotiating skills to buy something at a great price. I managed to get him down from 45 to 40 Euros on a very nice pure silk scarf. That was the end of our purchases – too much cheese, too much ham, too much tapenade, and a scarf.
As it was now close to 2pm, we decided to grab a sidewalk table at Chez Bru’s Brasserie d’Eygalieres. The owner’s main digs just down the road have a Michelin star, and the food here is pretty good, so it sounded like a terrific idea – a gorgeous day with great food. I ordered a lobster for my meal, while David had tartare de boeuf. Both were superb, washed down with a bottle of Mas St. Berthe rosé. We had a relaxing lunch, then headed back to the Mas to see if we could fit the food into the fridge.
By evening, we weren’t terribly hungry, so settled on ham and cheese (take your pick) sandwiches. I choose a slice of the aged Comté, which was wonderful. David choose small slices of Emmenthal and Reblochon with his jambon.
We tossed out a stale baguette for Roxie to feast on, and turned in.