Thursday, 16 June 2011

Market day and aperitifs

French markets are well known for their diverse range of produce, and Loches market (Wednesdays and Saturdays) is no exception, so it's always worth a visit. It is also nice to sit at a pavement cafe with a grand creme and watch the world go by. We have our favourite stalls - the cheese lady who has a wide and varied range of cheeses from all over France, the butcher/charcuterie van which has excellent merguez and chipolatas, are two we like.

However, it's also easy to get caught out (yes, even us veterans of over 40 years travel in France!). There are often specialist cheese sellers who have maybe 3 or 4 types of cheese which they invite you to taste (they will somehow know you are English). Once you do, they have you, and you find yourself buying a smallish piece without asking how much it will be. We did this a while back and got stung for a lot of money! Even worse, I handed the cash over!! The same can happen with the saucisson seller and the smoked ham seller. Buyer beware!

Still, the markets in France are full of lovely fresh produce which is very much home grown, something which we may only see at monthly Farmer's markets in the UK.



On a different subject, remember the eau de vie we collected from the distiller recently? Well, we started our aperitif 'Epine' with our neighbour Dominic at the weekend. Firstly we had to collect the shoots from the blackthorn bushes (pous d'epine), then pour in 6 litres of alcohol. This was left overnight, then last night, John went over there and they added sugar and 30 litres of Gamay (plus a couple of other secret ingredients). This will be left for a few days and Dom will taste it regularly. When he is satisfied with the taste (it takes on a slight almond taste from the blackthorn leaves), it will be filtered and bottled. Then we drink it! Simple really! From an original strength of about 43%, it reduces to about the same strength as sherry.


No comments:

Post a Comment