cheese strawberriesHigh-quality ingredients elevate the simplest meals to moments of wonder and joy.

We are spoiled for choice here in France, especially on market day, when local growers and artisans bring their goods, all nice and fresh and natural, for sale in the square, as has been done for hundreds and hundreds of years (758, to be precise).lunch 1We are big fans of chevre–goat cheese–in all its forms. And there are many: from soft to hard and everything in between; from small rounds (called crottin–which also is the word for droppings of animals like sheep and goats!) to big rounds to bûches (logs) to squares and rectangles. They can be pure white, yellowish, ashen gray. Pasteurized or not. Something for everybody.

4 goat cheeses
Piment and mustard, semi-fresh, dried cherries, fresh.

I am partial to the semi-soft rounds that are encrusted with all kinds of yummy stuff: peppercorns, dried cranberries, herbs… Our kid likes bûches for their chewy crust, but anything with strong flavor will do.

wrapped cheeses
Each vendor has a unique wrapping technique.

Although I have some favorite vendors at the market, sometimes I can’t pick just one. So it is with cheeses. There are several artisans, with slightly different products, so I buy a couple from each. We know some from having visited their farms during the Ferme en Ferme open houses–the 2018 season opens May 1!lunch 3lunch 5Of course, good bread is easy to find. And strawberries, grown in the cool, wet hills of Ariège. goat cheese closeuplunch 2If you can’t come here, take yourself on vacation with some really good bread, some juicy strawberries and a real goat cheese that isn’t sealed in plastic from some factory. Every bite will be worth it.lunch 6

41 thoughts on “French Lunch

    1. David Lebovitz! I made his shakshuka bread for dinner last night and I intend to make his mimosa asparagus tomorrow after the market–asparagus is best when eaten right away!

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  1. Dear Frenchtaste , I have to try to send you a message…I have been to Provence only for a spell of 2 weeks. Wonderful weeks exposed to sand and hills and mountains. We loved it. A walk through Provence with Gourmet Walkabouts tours. I read your posts and adore them, and your one just now re goats cheese and bread? Blissful. Though where I can obtain goats cheese not in plastic is beyond me! We do have a fabulous Vietnamese bakery that makes wonderful bread, a heritage of French culture in Vietnam. The memories you revive…thank you! Sincerely Christine Cobb Australia 🇦🇺

    Sent from my iPad from Chris

    >

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    1. Doesn’t your grocer have a deli section with either imported or local artisanal products? The ones in my photos cost €2.50 apiece here–more than supermarket cheese but very reasonable as a gourmet treat.

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  2. Even the best, and most expensive, chevre available here–from a local producer whose label includes pictures of her goats–is packed in little tubs. I suspect that US food regulations may not allow for something as “unsanitary” as paper wrappings. It’s plastic all the way.
    Those strawberries, Oh my!!

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  3. On another subject. The purple flower you were asking about is called Aubretia and is wonderful as a groundcover and also in stonewalls where it will cascade and flowers for months. Should be ideal for your needs.

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  4. Such beautiful pictures of food! We are finally here in your neck of the woods. It’s all about food and the outdoors when we visit. Went to the St. Chinian market Sunday and picked up the most pretty, delicate strawberries, a firm goat cheese and crusty bread with our hearts set on a hike and picnic. Nature had other plans and the sky opened a deluge upon us. Instead had a lovely lunch in the cutest restaurant, La Petite Table, in Assignan. Thanks for your posts, they keep me dreaming when I’m home!

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  5. I love cheese and love trying different varieties. I wish we had fresh markets here to shop instead of the big grocery stores. I loved visiting the market in Normandy when I visited a few years ago. I was in awe of all the food.

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