Saturday, 3 November 2012

Piglets, Fruity Finds, and Fall Treats

"The circus animals are not for sale"

This morning when the bugle sounded at dawn, it was cold and overcast outside.

Over breakfast, I was hoping this was the last bit of crankiness left over from the weather temper tantrum we'd been having all week that involved high winds, thunder, lightning, stuff blowing around everywhere and rain that seeped in under our front door.

Saturday is my favourite day of the week.  When I was a kid it was because I got to watch cartoons but as a grown up, it's because I get to go the market to buy food.  So the cool, grey day and my moody mood didn't stop me from jumping out of bed and making my way to the Menton market. I just felt a bit melancholic and had a craving for comfort food like mashed potatoes and pie.

Figs, walnuts, pears, squash, root vegetables, cabbage, and mushrooms dominated the scene this morning.  When you stop and think about it, fall is mostly about what comes from the trees and from under the earth.

On Saturdays, the Menton market is fortified with locals who bring all sorts of interesting treats with them.  Sometimes the goodies are edible and sometimes they're not.

Today someone brought a portable "fund raising" petting zoo where for a few centimes, you could pet a piglet and a baby goat.  I'm always a bit conflicted when I see animals being used like this but if it saves the piglet and the goat from the soup pot, I'm all for it.

  One vendor was selling her "Clémadrine" which she explained was a fruit from a mandarin tree on which she'd grafted some clementine branches.  I was a bit dubious but I bought some anyway.  They were about the same size as a mandarin but a bit juicer and sweeter than usual. Delicious. I just hope there are more where those came from and she grafted a lot of branches on that tree.

Another woman was selling little Granny Smith apples.  I love that the French call Granny Smith apples,  "Granny." The surprise was that these Grannies were grown in Menton and until I saw them, I'd always thought that Menton was too warm to grow apples.  These proved otherwise.  The apples were crisp, fresh and as locavore as you can get:  they were grown on the same street as our seaside shack.

The Chapellierie or, "hat shop" was doing brisk business from people who arrived under-dressed and thought a pretty, warm hat would take care of the problem. 

With the Fall season unfolding as it should, I'm looking forward to picking up other other earthy treats to cook with, all bundled up of course.

Must dash, the timer for the apple pie just rang!

Goat cheese from my favourite cheese vendor

Local figs and dangerous prickly pears

Finally, broccoletti!
Pink garlic from Lautrec, Potiron squash
Fresh local walnuts and Fijoa 

And a cat


Abby said...

Absolutely gorgeous city/ market/ pictures!!! My mouth is watering...

Lost in Provence said...

Oh my, the first and last photos...! Whew, new favorites of yours. Only in France would they have to dissuade folks from trying to buy the petting zoo---you just know that so many passerby were mentally preparing that little piglet for a roast!

Bon Dimanche!

Gustia said...

Thank you! So was mine.

Gustia said...

Ha ha! You're right about the petting zoo. They could do a roaring business in piglets! Notice that the expression on the cat's face is remarkably similar to the piglet's. Both coming to terms with their lots in life, I think.

Sarah said...

What a pretty place Menton is, and the market looks just fantastic.

I hate seeing performing animals too and never go to the circus here because of that. My boys are not keen either.

Acquired Objects said...

I just came over from Heather's blog Lost in Arles and I'm so glad she mentioned you. What a beautiful place Menton is and your outdoors market is fabulous, what I wouldn't give for a crate of figs with some of that goat cheese! I will definitely will be back!


French Girl in Seattle said...

Bonjour Jennifer. Just found your blog on my friend Heather's today (Lost in Arles.) All she had to say was Monaco/Menton/Food... :-) Here I am, your newest Follower. I will be looking forward to reading you, and in the meantime, will browse your site to read recent stories. A bientot. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Gustia said...

Hi Debra! Thanks for visiting and the follow. Isn't Heaather wonderful? Her photos are mesmerizing... The Menton market is fab. On Saturdays it's really buzzing with local vendors and Italians who shoot across the border to buy French goodies. Figs and goat cheese? Yum!

Gustia said...

Welcome Madame!

angiemanzi said...

Thank you for your post. I was sent here via "LOST IN ARLES". So happy she mentioned you. Merci....J'adore le pays monagasque. Angela...just a person.

Gustia said...

Hi Angela and welcome to the weird and tiny world of Monaco and beyond! Heather was so fabulous to send you my way. Thank you for taking a look. Enjoy!

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

Hi from me too - from Western Australia - via Lost in Arles.
We travelled to France for the first time in spring this year and visited Annecy, Provence region and Paris - what a dream, all of them.
I shall enjoy your words and pictures that take me back to a beautiful culture that celebrates quality - the Provence markets are just outstanding!
Your pictures and blog are lovely ...

Gustia said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comments. I love writing it - there's so mush to share and show everyone. BTW, I visited yours and I think your drawings are truly amazing. They remind me of the flower drawings I'd marvel at in the Audubon books my parents had when I was little.

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

So nice of you thank you! I adore Audubon and his beautiful bird studies - so many beautiful artists out there - blogs are a nice way to show and tell ... even if only one appreciates, it's worth it. Thank you - will see you next post :)

Bronwyn in Hong Kong said...

Ah, the markets in the south of France are the best! I was in Aix-en-Provence for the first time earlier this year and it brings back memories. I am jealous (and now a little hungry) :-)

Linda said...

Hi! Found you via Heather's blog, Lost in Arles. I wish that I had a lovely market this to go to on a Saturday here in the States. There's nothing that compares really. I could get rid of my doldrums if I had a place like this to visit each week!

I look forward to reading more of your blogposts!