Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday Morning Market, Vaison-la-Romaine

Yesterday afternoon was the last farmer's market for this year in Occidental, the small village in west Sonoma County California where Bistro Des Copains, the French country bistro we co-own with friends Cluney and Ferney is located.

Unfortunately, shoppers and tourists who came to the market yesterday were greeted by gray sky and drizzle. This stopped a few rain-adverse souls from coming, but those that did brave the weather, enjoyed the annual holloween celebration which marks the end of the market season in Occidental.

Every time I see a market, I immediately think about the wonderful market that takes place every Tuesday morning, rain or shine in Vaison-la-Romaine. We don't mind at all not having a weekly market in Sablet since Vaison-la-Romaine is only 10 minutes away.

Regardless of our normal routine (mine usually includes a petit café at Café des Sports and the International Herald Tribune), we alway get going early on market day so we find parking near Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth (Cathedral of Our Lady of Nazareth) before the crowds arrive.

You can tell the passing of the season by what is on display for sale each week. Here are a few pictures of items from the several hundred vendors when we were at the Vaison-la-Romaine market last month.

This week, we were thrilled to find the first cèpe (porcini) mushrooms of the season on display.

There were also girolle (a member of the chanterelle family) mushrooms.

There were still beautiful berries available for anyone who hadn't had their fill already this summer.

There were tables of various onions and shallots.

There were displays of stone fruits like peaches and nectarines.

There were table grapes. I love the Muscat grapes; so sweet.

There were tables of saucisson sec (dry sausages) of all flavors, perfect for hors d'œuvres.

Tables of spices of all kinds. You buy what you need for the week, thereby assuring that your spices are always fresh; no bottles or tins of spices one or two years old.

There are also vendors selling brightly colored baskets.

More saucisson sec (dry sausages) and cured meats.


There is food to emporter (take with you) like pizza and paella and this vendor with roast chicken.


Dried sanglier (wild boar).

Our favorite poissonier, fish monger or fish seller. He comes to Sablet and sets up his truck every Thursday morning.

Some of his shellfish for sale that week. He only sells the freshest seafood available.

Lots of fresh produce was on display.

More mushrooms.

Jams and jellies of all types. You have to have a jar or two to spread on your baguette for petit déjeuner (breakfast).

There are many displays of saucisson sec (dry sausages). You can see this seller has some with truffle (truffles), ane (donkey), and myrtilles (blueberry).

A big pan of telline (local shellfish) cooking.

A table mounded with strands of garlic.

What market in Provence would be complete without beautiful fabrics?

We will be returning to Provence soon and we are already planning our trip to the Tuesday market. If you are in the area, make sure you go. You don't want to miss it.


  1. Couldn't agree more, Vaison's market is the best! And soon the truffles will arrive....

  2. I can't wait for truffles to be in the market. I hope to bring some back to use in dishes for our Bistro Des Copains.

  3. Wow! That made me hungry! Thank goodness it's almost lunch time here. I do wish the farmers market's in DC were a fraction of this quality. You can't beat the freshness and the quality of locally grown/raised products.

  4. Greg - In my opinion, the market in Vaison-la-Romaine has no equal in the south of France. It is just amazing. Did you get to any markets in Italy? What were they like?