Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

My wife and I have rented a house northwest of Aix en Provence for six weeks next spring. Living then near Pont Royal and Mallemort we wish to learn about best places for grocery shopping, wine shopping and best bakeries and sources of produce. We seek both the experience of others and useful websites, especially those which will teach us about every day life in this area of Provence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a good region for food shopping. You will not be very far from the old port in Marseille, where you will find ultra fresh fish directly from the fishermen. Do go there to buy your fish, it is a pretty fast drive and parking can be found nearby. There are other ports on the west side of Marseille where you can buy fresh fish as well.

There are many markets in the region. In Aix there is a big fruit and vegetable market on Place des Précheurs and Place de la Madeleine every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Be there early on Saturdays. There is another small market on Place Richelme, which I believe is open if not every day, most days of the week. There is a good market in l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue every Thursday and Sunday morning. There is an even better one in Apt, which is a bit of a drive but a nice one, every Saturday. Be sure to be early especially in Apt since parking is a bit of a problem. For a complete list of the Luberon markets, go here. The market in Cavaillon, famous for its melon, is quite good too and you should not miss some of the marché paysans, if you are in the region when they have started. There is also an indoor market in Avignon with decent stuff but it is a bit of a hassle to go to.

Boucherie Fassetta on rue Espariat in Aix en Provence has decent meat. There are a few decent butchers in l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt.

You will be close to one of the most fabled produce of France, the asparagus of Robert Blanc in Villelaure, west of Pertuis. But there will be plenty of very fine asparagus from other good small producers at all the markets during the spring. Make sure to buy asparagus directly from a producer that cut them the same morning.

Some specialties not to be missed include, in addition to the asparagus from Luberon, Sisteron lamb, which unfortunately is not an origin that guarantees high quality but it can be of very high quality, poutarge from Martigues, brousse de Rove (ewe’s milk cheese in the region often used with berries and jams), the small cigales de mer from Marseille, tellines from Camargue and the squab pigeon from Luberon to mention a few things.

The probably best wine shop in the region is La Cave du Septier in Apt run by Thierry Riols and his wife. Their website is here. Thierry is a very serious caviste and prices are reasonable. You will be reasonably close to Chateauneuf du Pape and Southern Rhone and there are a few interesting wineries in the Provence region that are not too far from you, such as Domaine Richeaume in Puyloubier, Domaine de Trevallon in Saint-etienne-du-gres and for some of the best whites of the region, Château des Tourettes outside of Apt owned by the famous Guffens Heynen from Burgundy.

Edited by degusto (log)

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the recommendation of La Cave du Septier. I have not visited the shop but use them regularly, ordering by Internet or telephone for delivery within France. Their service has been consistently reliable and the people online and on the phone well informed.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are fabulous street markets 3x/week in Aix, the biggest one being Saturdays. The location is Place de Verdun, by the Hotel de Ville. There are a couple of hundred local producers here, with everything from fresh veggies to cheese to fresh meats and fish. You should find some of the best of everything you need here, except for the wine.

There is a giant Carrefour in one of the commercial zones for your supermarket needs...

One of my favorite little discoveries for wine is a cooperative just outside of La Tour d'Aigues called Cellier de Marrenon. This is well off the beaten path, but it is a little gem. The whites there are sublime. About a 1/2 hr from Aix.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The best strawberries I ever ate, were purchased at one of the smaller open markets in Aix. By all means, the advice to learn where the markets in the area are and to learn what's local and in season is good advice.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Helpful Friends:

I just want to say thank you to those of you who have offered such helpful replies to my 'post' about where to shop in Provence! Thank you especially to:

Robert Buxbaum, "menton1", "degusto" and Jonathan Day.

David R. Asplin,

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Link to post
Share on other sites
There are fabulous street markets 3x/week in Aix, the biggest one being Saturdays.  The location is Place de Verdun, by the Hotel de Ville.  There are a couple of hundred local producers here, with everything from fresh veggies to cheese to fresh meats and fish.  You should find some of the best of everything you need here, except for the wine. 

I would say that a large part, sometimes the vast majority depending on the season, of the resellers at the Provencal markets are not producers but rather just vegetable resellers going from one market to the other. You will see the same people the next day at a different market. Some vegetables may be sourced directly from local farmers but perhaps more often everything is sourced at the M.I.N. (Marché Interet National) in Cavaillon or in Chateaurenard (one of the largest for fruits and vegetables in Europe) the day or days before. The difference between what is sold from many of the stalls at the markets and very well-stocked supermarkets is often limited or non-existent so one really needs to look out for the great stuff, which is around but often not to the extent people in general think. The marché paysans are often better since at many of these smaller markets there are mostly producers which is a reason these are open only a part of the year.

Fish is a different story. I don’t think I have seen one fishmonger at a Provencal market selling even decent fish. I am thinking about all the markets north of Marseille. It may happen but one would assume that virtually all fish sold by these fish mongers, as well as most other normal fish mongers, have at best been sourced at somewhere like M.I.N. in Marseille (big for fish) the day before, which means if it is a fish from Brittany, which it often is, it was landed at best one day before that on top of which the fish often has been “burnt” by being on ice. Then at the markets to be sold to the public, the quality of the fish will not be improved by having one side exposed to ice and the other to day temperature, which in the spring and summer can be well beyond perfect storing conditions for fish. There is just no comparison to a fish bought directly from the fishermen in one of the small ports of Marseille or elsewhere along the Mediterranean coats. It can be a bit tricky because you will never really know what type of fish you will get when you go there and sometimes such as when the weather is bad, there is nothing to buy. The only alternative, if you want great fish, is to buy fish from a very serious wholesaler or semi-wholesaler who will not display fish on traditional fish counters but have all his stock stored in perfect conditions at all time.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By bleudauvergne
      Clafoutis de Fevettes au Parmesean et Basilic
      Serves 4 as Main Dishor 6 as Side.
      This recipe appears in French in issue no. 140 of the Saveurs magazine as part of a series of recipes accompanying an article on 'primeurs', or local vegetables that appear at the markets only during the first few weeks of Spring.
      It can be prepared with feves that have been frozen fresh, but I would not recommend using dried beans.
      This recipe should work fine with both American all purpose and French type 55 flour, as the quantity called for is slight in comparison to the other ingredients.

      500 g fresh young feves
      4 eggs
      20 cl milk
      10 cl heavy cream (liquid)
      70 g freshly grated parmesean
      2 T flour
      1 small bouquet of basil
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
      fresh ground white pepper

      Preheat your oven to 160 C / 320 F.
      Blanche the feves a large pot of boiling salted water and refresh in cold water. Drain and reserve.
      Combine the eggs, the milk and cream in a large bowl and beat until well combined.
      Wash and dry the basil, remove the leaves from the stems and mince it finely.
      Add the salt, the flour, the parmesean, the pepper, the grated nutmeg, and the freshly minced basil. Add the young feves.
      Butter a clafoutis dish (noted in the recipe as 'un plat a clafoutis', but which a deep sided 10" square dish such as a corningwear would work, or a large loaf pan), give the batter a last mix, pour it into the pan, and put it in the pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center seems firm when you shake the pan.
      Serve it hot or cold, with a simple roquette salad or with chicken, rabbit, or veal. Goes well with a good rose champagne.
      Keywords: Main Dish, French, Appetizer, Hors d'oeuvre, Easy
      ( RG1243 )
    • By bleudauvergne
      Clafoutis de Fevettes au Parmesean et Basilic
      Serves 4 as Main Dishor 6 as Side.
      This recipe appears in French in issue no. 140 of the Saveurs magazine as part of a series of recipes accompanying an article on 'primeurs', or local vegetables that appear at the markets only during the first few weeks of Spring.
      It can be prepared with feves that have been frozen fresh, but I would not recommend using dried beans.
      This recipe should work fine with both American all purpose and French type 55 flour, as the quantity called for is slight in comparison to the other ingredients.

      500 g fresh young feves
      4 eggs
      20 cl milk
      10 cl heavy cream (liquid)
      70 g freshly grated parmesean
      2 T flour
      1 small bouquet of basil
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
      fresh ground white pepper

      Preheat your oven to 160 C / 320 F.
      Blanche the feves a large pot of boiling salted water and refresh in cold water. Drain and reserve.
      Combine the eggs, the milk and cream in a large bowl and beat until well combined.
      Wash and dry the basil, remove the leaves from the stems and mince it finely.
      Add the salt, the flour, the parmesean, the pepper, the grated nutmeg, and the freshly minced basil. Add the young feves.
      Butter a clafoutis dish (noted in the recipe as 'un plat a clafoutis', but which a deep sided 10" square dish such as a corningwear would work, or a large loaf pan), give the batter a last mix, pour it into the pan, and put it in the pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center seems firm when you shake the pan.
      Serve it hot or cold, with a simple roquette salad or with chicken, rabbit, or veal. Goes well with a good rose champagne.
      Keywords: Main Dish, French, Appetizer, Hors d'oeuvre, Easy
      ( RG1243 )
    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By liuzhou
      The rise and fall of French cuisine
       
      interesting read.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...