Monday, 8 November 2010

Sarlat Market

As good as a holiday to me, escaping to the market. Let's face it, the garden's dreary right now and the thought of raking leaves only serves to add to the hum drum so it's off to la Marche for me. Let your eyes and stomach do the walking.

Beautiful isn't it? Sarlat is one of the most perfectly preserved medieval towns in Europe. To wander unhurried through her cobbled streets taking in the sights, sounds and smells of one of the best gastronomic markets in the region is a delight.

In the absence of any hard frost, mushroom season continues. Some years are better than others for the fickle Cepe and there have been occasions when the market is just brimful with this particular boletus, literally crate fulls stacked high, other times they're less plentiful.

Queue for Choucroute, it's worth the wait.

Who doesn't love good coffee? Beans are roasted on site at the Brulerie Sarladaise, and this fabulous old machine does the trick. The fire is stoked into the burner on the left, the heat travels along the pipe to the drum, beans are poured into the top, the drum slowly turns and the coffee gently roasts. The smell is out of this world, heavenly.

France embraced canning in a big way. I think it was Escoffier who referred disparagingly to the "cuisine of the can". Entirely unfair of course, these are some of the best canned delicacies money can buy.

Le grand fromage. I have a serious weakness for cheese, and of course if you're going to eat cheese,

you'll probably need some bread

Well you could easily find your own chestnuts but life is so much easier when someone else has peeled them for you.

So much Saucisson.

Finally, lunch anyone?