One of the many reasons why I’m so lucky to live in Périgueux is because of the town’s beautiful markets. There’s one open everyday, just steps from my front door. My favorite is held on Wednesday and Saturday morning at Place de la Clautre, just next to Périgueux’s famed Cathédral Saint-Front. It’s as magical as Talensac, my favorite market in Nantes, and I shuffle my way down the street the two times a week to see what’s fresh each month.
Back in October when I first got to Périgueux, I was so excited by the selection, and Phillip and I always brought back a full bag to our apartment. The tables were covered in figs and potimarrons (pumpkin-like gourds, also known as red kuri squash), and pretty little plums, called reine claudes, which old women picked through with expertise. We sampled a bit of everything throughout the month, and discovered the best apple in all of the Dordogne – the Ariane! And it’s only sold by one vendor, who quickly learned to anticipate our patronage on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It’s a mix between a Florina, Prima, and Golden Delicious apple, two of which I’d never heard of before, but croyez-moi, it’s an incredible apple, both for snacking and for pies. Oh, the pies! They merit their own post!
But when the temptation of beautiful, fresh produce proves too strong, and you get home with more than you can possibly eat, you needn’t hang your head in shame. Instead, you make a soup! One of my favorites in October was a hearty minestrone, which I served in big bowls with a crusty baguette one Saturday afternoon, after Phillip got back from a bike ride along the Isle River. Oh, warm weather, whatever happened to you? Périgueux is wonderful in the snow, but so, so cold! And as predicted, it snowed again today and I’m free of classes tomorrow. Maybe I’ll try and recreate the soup…!