An ancient custom that is experiencing a revival in the USA, the weekly farmer’s market, is well preserved in Europe, and we were able to appreciate this in Vaison.
A feast for all the senses:
Booths were set up on both sides of the principal streets, and throughout the main square.
Professionals provision themselves in markets like this, so that in restaurants often we do not see the details behind the meals. In this setting we see where our food comes from.
The clerks behind the counters are alert and quick. They calculate change in their head, and are constantly chatting up new customers and old. In one way it is festive, and in another way it is quite businesslike.
A potter demonstrated the quality of his work by tapping on it, producing a clear bell-like tone. But he would not pose for me while doing it. In retrospect I regretted even asking him; it must be more than a little galling to be treated as a curiosity. I should have asked him how he managed to produce that effect, but maybe my French was not up to it. I would not take home anything as heavy as a ceramic bowl, no matter what the quality. But at least I have this picture to remind me of my lesson.
The picture also shows that there were clothing and table linens for sale – not so common in our farmers’ market at home. Most of the regular businesses were open at the same time, and we bought some Gaudi tiles at a gift shop, as presents and memorabilia. At different booths in the marché we bought veggies and a rotisserie chicken to take back to the gite for dinner. Marchés like this are found all over France, including the major cities like Paris, which of course have assimilated many villages into the city over the centuries.