LaValee11They have the best markets here in France. They are not a novelty like they seem to be in the US sometimes, but a real necessity and a big part of life. And the best part is that it’s actually CHEAPER to shop at the market than to go to the grocery store! What a novel idea!

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We bought a pineapple (7 Euros! Ouch…I miss Hawaii!), 3 kilos of clementines (about 50-yes we eat a lot of those and they were gone in a day and a half!), bananas, raspberries, 2 zucchini, 4 different herbs, a pomegranate, a huge bag of seriously delicious grapes (the grapes here are amazing), a big bag of spinach, 10 pears and a few other things I can’t remember and it came to $39 Euros! I couldn’t believe it!

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It’s not just fruits and vegetables at the market though. We are 30 minutes from the coast here and the seafood does not disappoint! The variety is amazing. Crabs, lobsters, oysters, clams, shrimp, langoustine, several kinds of fish, smoked salmon, sea urchins and a few sea creatures I’ve never even heard of! (FYI: If you buy “filet salé, it’s salted fish, not fish for sale! You must soak the fish for 24 hours before cooking with it…one ruined Sole meunière later and I’ve learned my lesson! But seeing my whole family spit their food out at the same time was hilarious!)

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You can even meet your dinner before you buy it if you want! Live crabs, lobsters, langoustines, it’s pretty interesting!

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And of course there is the escargot! All lovely and cooked right there for you. Yum! My kids have not been brave enough to try it yet! Although they did tackle frog legs and oysters. I was pretty proud of them!

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You could really do the majority of your weekly shopping at the market. I love it! Rotisserie chickens, other meats and meals were everywhere and smelled amazing. We buy handmade pasta every week along with a chicken. Between that and fruits and vegetables we are pretty much set!

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Our friendly poulet (chicken) man gives candies to the kids when we come! So, naturally, we love him!

I think our favorite find is the sweet lady who sells Macaron a L’Anciens (Ancient Macarons). They are just the cookie part of the traditional fancy macaron, but heartier and not as sweet. They are amazing! And they are just as good, if not better, several days later! She makes them right there at the market in her little food truck oven. There are several flavors like orange, coconut, almond, lemon, ginger and chocolate chip! So good!

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I wish I could pack up this market and take it with me everywhere. It’s hard to wait for Saturday to come around sometimes! Have you ever shopped at a European market? What was your favorite? I’m really going to miss this!

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