Saturday, December 13, 2008

A plethora of markets

Why is it that this year we have Christmas markets running out of our ears?

There are at least five being held in nearby villages & hamlet's. In fact Linda is going to one in Caylus this afternoon. It seems to me that they are breeding like rabbits. Used to be just a year or two ago that there was only one Christmas Market in a nearby village; that was at Puylagarde.

Now there have always been Christmas markets in the larger towns and cities. The Christmas Market in the main square of Toulouse (Capital) is truly spectacular and the Cahors Christmas market is great. You could go on down the line from there, but there weren't many in the small villages. Not enough traffic one would have thought.

Perhaps its the economy; everybody out trying to make a few Euros? I strongly suspect that its mainly the same traders going from village to village selling the same stuff. Certainly my quick look at Caylus Christmas market this morning didn't reveal any truly local vendors.

Anyway, more power to them, they're very colorful and, hopefully, people will find something they like and the vendors will make a few Euros to help their Christmas budgets.

I did buy something at market on Thursday. This was at the seasonal market which is an off shoot of the main Villefranche de Rouergue market. Here in the 'halle' they sell only dead birds (chickens, ducks & geese mainly) and fois gras. This is the real deal straight from farmer to you.
Rob & I were checking out prices for next week when we'll probably buy our ducks & fois gras for Christmas. One of the larger vendors must have had a 100 pounds of fresh raw fois gras for sale, amazing! I've never seen that much fois gras in one place before.

I won't mention prices as I don't want to make those of you who don't live in the French country side to get too jealous. I will say, however, that Rob & couldn't resist buying 2 cuisse de canard each (a cuisse is the leg & thigh together). They were 2 Euros each and each one weights close to a kilo. These were big ducks believe me.

I'll cook them with lots of shallots & green olives very slowly in a covered frying pan on the stove top. Absolutely tender & delicious. I'll try to take some pictures as I do it.

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