The enticing markets of south-west France
PUBLISHED: 15:05 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:27 09 March 2016
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The markets of south-west France are famous for their colourful stalls selling foie gras, duck and goose confit and truffles. We pick some of our favourite markets in the south-west that you simply have to visit
Auch market in Gers
There is a Saturday market in the heart of Auch’s historic haute-ville, surrounded by half-timbered houses. Ancient capital of Gascony, Auch is a beautiful town with medieval winding streets lined with small shops and restaurants. The market sells traditional products from south-west France including poultry, duck, garlic, melon.
Issigeac market in Dordogne
Chosen by Debbie Curtis
Every Sunday, artisan food producers from all over Dordogne turn the winding streets of Issigeac into a maze of delights. The stalls sell cheese, strawberries, melons, local AOC wines and strings of saucisson, onions and garlic. As well as food, the stalls sell wicker baskets, handmade quilts, clothes and decorated straw hats. Sooner or later, your nose will bring you to Gilles and Gérard, whose rotisserie truck packed with rows of slowly rotating chickens, poussins and quail sends enticing smells around the market.
Sarlat-la-Canéda market in Dordogne
Chosen by Judy Armstrong
Sarlat-la-Canéda in Dordogne is known for its Saturday market. Centred on the Place de la Liberté, the stalls spread out in the summer to cover the streets and courtyards of the pedestrianised old town. There is seasonal Périgord produce in abundance – anything related to duck or goose, foie gras, truffles, walnuts, bread, cheese, cherries and mushrooms. A more contemporary market sprawls along the Rue de la République, with stalls selling clothes and bric-a-brac. The markets close at 1pm and in the summer it is wise to get there early to avoid the crowds. In the winter there are truffle markets which sell the pricey black truffles which south-west France is famous for.
Périgueux market in Dordogne
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, the market stalls take over the Place du Coderc and Place de la Mairie in Périgueux. Stalls sell fresh local produce, including duck and goose foie gras, confit de canard, walnuts, chestnuts and locally grown strawberries in the summer. In the winter there is a special marché au gras where local farmers sell their own duck and goose products and sometimes black truffles.
Martel market in Lot
Chosen by Mark Sampson
Every Saturday, and the occasional Wednesday, a market is held in the small town of Martel in Lot. Hidden away from passing traffic in a convivial square the market and its monumental medieval backdrop make you feel like you stepped back in time. Sheltered under a wooden roof, the market stallholders sell wares they have produced themselves, including honey, organic vegetables, eggs, cheese and flowers, in line with the seasons. Twice a year the regular market is replaced by a truffle market.
Toulouse market, Haute-Garonne
Chosen by Alison Weeks
Open every morning, except Mondays, the covered market at the Marché Victor Hugo in Toulouse is packed with around 100 stalls selling fresh produce, charcuterie, cheese and wine. The market is in the heart of Toulouse’s foodie quarter, surrounded by cheesemongers, patisseries and gourmet food shops. Above the main market floor are some of the area’s most popular restaurants which showcase the local produce on sale downstairs.
Tournefeuille market in Haute-Garonne
Chosen by Sandra Haurant
The village of Tournefeuille, near Toulouse, has a weekly market every Sunday morning, outside the mairie, an old château. Background music is provided by buskers and stalls sell fresh bread, artisan honey, tubs of aligot, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and cheese. My favourite stand, at least for enterntainment value is run by a round, jolly man with a beret who drives 110km from Haute-Pyrénées every Sunday. He sells eggs and sundried white beans by the mugfull and that is all. But his stall is always busy, surrounded either by laughing friends or happy shoppers.
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