Saint Rémy de Provence


Saint Rémy de Provence is a charming village in the South of France well known for its large outdoor market, which is held each Wednesday morning when vendors line the streets offering some of the best local culinary delights.


Similar to the farmers markets in the United States, each vendor sold products only within one category such as cheeses, fruits and vegetables or meats. Interestingly it was not uncommon to find vendors that specialized even further, such as the one pictured above offering only two varieties of cheeses.


This vendor offered gigantic wheels of French Gruyère from Cantal. Sherry Page purchased a wedge that was cut with a long knife that had two handles on each side.


Also appetizing where the tables of saucisson (or dry-cured sausages) that presented some of the best salami I had ever eaten. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article about chefs who attempt to smuggle sausages from Europe into America, sending the contraband to labs to analyze the ingredients in an effort to recreate them. It's astonishing the trouble, but I have to admit these salami were quite good, and definitely worth the risk for people in the food business.   


Since a majority of the group on the Culinary Getaways tour didn't speak French, one vendor communicated with us by using animal toy figurines to explain the fillings to each corresponding sausage, which I found to be brilliant and entertaining. Of note is impressive variety of flavors that were available for salami. One table offered sausages that were stuffed with hazelnut, olive, black pepper, cheese, herbs, fig, duck, bull and wild boar.


Fresh artisan breads and pastries abound every corner of the market. Each loaf was crisp on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside, fulfilling the measure of a good quality bread.


Impressive were also the baskets brimming with many varieties of cured olives. The broad array of different methods of curing olives, on top of the different olive varieties that were used was exciting, and made me realize how limited my knowledge of cured olives actually is.


Although it was far from the peak of growing season, there was still a good offering of fresh winter vegetables at the market in February. Most of the vegetables at the stalls were potatoes, cabbages, leeks, artichokes, onions and garlic. Sherry Page tells me that local produce over the summer is amazing with fruits such as orange strawberries that Sherry describes as so sweet that it is almost "too sweet," plump and black cherries, oversized syrupy figs, and ambrosial melons. Every fruit is picked at its peak and is packed with so much natural sugar that it needs to be eaten within two to three days or will go bad.


Surrounding the market stalls are beautiful French shops that offer everything from knives, baskets, cheeses and wines.


Across the street of the food stalls is a parking lot where nonfood vendors sell everything from beautiful Provencal ceramic dishware, to pots, pans, and table linens.


After seeing all of the gorgeous bright colors of the quilted tablecloths, I couldn't resist, and brought one home as a souvenir to remember this beautiful historic village. I'm looking forward to revisiting Saint Rémy again, next time in the warmer season when the market is bountiful with the summer harvest.

Related Posts
Truffle Hunting in Provence
Chez Bruno - The Ultimate Truffle Dining Experience in Provence
Bistrot Découverte in Saint Rémy de Provence
Château Beaucastel Winery of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Châteauneuf-du-Pape - One of the World's Premier Wine Region

74 comments:

Bridgett said...

Looks like paradise to me! I would easily have a blast there.

A Canadian Foodie said...

I was there. I can taste the meat and cheese and feel the fresh air and the energy burst. I think I was born to live there. I love that area of France. Oh my Gosh... I appreciate this little unexpected trip done memory lane. We were in Aix en Provence longer... and in that area only 3 days two different times. I lonnnng to go back to be back - to live there.

Sook said...

Oh how fun! Loving these posts with gorgeous pictures, Christine!

Kim said...

I always love visiting your site and seeing all your wonderful pictures! Sounds like an absolutely wonderful time. I love the long cheese knife with double handles and the shop selling all the baskets sure looks fun. Thanks for sharing! I don't know if I'll ever make it there, but it sure is nice to catch glimpses of it:D

high low said...

Oh, to live the rest of my life in Provence...Hope you've settled nicely in your new place. Can't wait to catch up on Friday!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Awesome pictures. The Gruyere cheese wheels look divine. Esp love the picture where the man is sawing the wheel.

Belinda @zomppa said...

I love that knife too...I so wish I could be hanging out with you. Those bowls!!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Thanks for sharing this kind of photos, I like to see pictures from diff places.

El said...

This looks sensational. I'd love to grab one of those baskets and fill it up with olives and cheese. It must be hard to be home!

Tara said...

This looks so fun Christine! Outdoor markets are so cute!

Bob said...

Oh man, you're killing me. Killing me dead.

Chow and Chatter said...

i want to love here!!

Joanne said...

This is a foodie paradise.

I've always wanted to name my first daughter Remy. Definitely going to, especially now that I know about this market.

Kathy said...

Wow...Look at all those wonderful olives!!!
The choices!!!!
I could easily live here!
Saint Remy...Three cheers...
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

The Chef In My Head said...

I'll carry your suitcases for you anytime :-) LeslieMichele

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I have been to Saint Rémy de Provence about 20 years ago. I love all your market pictures! Beautiful. All I need is some of that bread, cheese, and a glass of wine right now...

lululu said...

that is exactly my kind of vacation! hanging around a small village, just to see how the local people live, what they sell, how they enjoy food.....and enjoy time yourself!

alison said...

fresh local is the best!wonderful post,you had a beutiful vacation!

Núria said...

Markets are life! How beautiful this one looks :D.

You made me remember an old story: when I was young (22) I hidded some chorizo pieces in my suitcase to give as a present to some USA friends. The police asked me if I had something to declare and I told them about the Chorizos (my parents always taught me to say the truth). The policeman was really kind and just smiled and let me go.

MaryMoh said...

What an adventure! I can spend the whole day there :D

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Yikes! What amazing cheese and meats! I adore outdoor food markets - the French do the market particularly well!

3 hungry tummies said...

I would love to wake up to a market like that. I hope your move has been smooth and hassle free!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

As you know, this is my favorite village in all of the world. Great pictures Christine. You've captured the market beautifully. I felt like I was right along with you.

The cheese man looked exactly the same. One day we saw him having a glass of wine and a few slices of sausage around 9:30 in the morning. As early as the vendors have to get to the markets to set up, it probably felt like one o'clock to him.

Thanks so much for these gorgeous pictures. I would give anything to be there right now, except it's probably too cold for me in March. It was cold in April.
Sam

Beth said...

I want to buy one of everything at that market! Thanks for sharing :-) I hope your house hunt is going well.

Pam said...

Wow...what a market...I want to go!

France was just on House Hunters International...we want to move there...he he!...love that show!

xoxo

OysterCulture said...

Oh my, I've been to markets such as this and the quality of food is simply amazing. A favorite for me is the market in Annecy. To your point, the sausages there were out of this world. Our lunch was typically some of those sausages, some cheese and bread, oh and a spot of wine - incroyable!

Penny said...

Love the vibrant colors of the food and wares. We are planning a trip to Provence for next summer. This looks like a good base in which to explore the area. You have been a big help - love your travelog.

5 Star Foodie said...

I would love to go back to Provence! Those cheeses look terrific! Awesome pictures!

kat said...

Oh my how much do I love markets like that! My mouth is watering just from your pictures

nancy at goodfoodmatters said...

Lovely post--fills me with longing...I have been in Avignon in the summer, wonderful produce and fabrics, but I never saw an open air market as spectacular as this one.
The array of olives and cheeses alone are mind-blowing.

Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food and Style said...

You are making me want to jump on a plane... today!

My husband and I have spent many times in St Remy, at different times of the year. It feels like a second home to me... It's a magical village and equally beautiful no matter what time of the year you visit.

Seems like you are having a very wonderful trip - enjoy the flavors, scents and sights to the fullest.

Laurie said...

Gorgeous photos! I love all the color and your composition is excellent. Boy would I love to try those sausages.

Dolce said...

Oh the bread, the bread... Sigh....

Barbara said...

I love these markets and stalls! Loved shopping them when I was visiting and the cheeses! I can smell them from here!

Stella said...

Hey Christine, this little village sounds wonderful. I can only imagine the quality of the artisan cheese and such. I hope you get to visit in the summer when those beautiful sounding fruits are supposed to be at the market.

Trissa said...

What a gorgeous village! It feels like it got "stuck in time" - just amazing how you captured the soul of St Remy...

La Table De Nana said...

We would like to return to France and I have bookmarked this area..Your photos are the little pushpins:)
Thank you..Did your move go well?

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a wonderful market! I would have bought EVERYTHING!

Gulmohar said...

Splendid..South of France has so many historic villages like this, rt? Been to Monte Carlo and nearby cities once and it was awesome
Who could resist those pretty tablecloths :D

A Year on the Grill said...

i am so in love with this post... fresh dry sausage, cheeses, breads and artist pottery... now that's a farmer's market

Forget Paris!

Kathleen said...

I have never been to Provence. Your photos make me want to go even more!

John Dryzga said...

Your posts have me ready to book a flight to France! I so need to go back to Provence.

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

What a beautiful village - incredible cheeses and sausages, the foodie paradise :)

Cheers,

Gera

Mimi said...

Gorgeous! I would have had a hard time getting all of that in to my suitcase.
Mimi

sweetlife said...

what a great post..I love all the pics..the cheese oh my it looks so great..

sweetlife

Mother Rimmy said...

I just love the pictures in your posts. Fantastic!

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

wow, look at all that cheese and sausage! you are making me miss france so much. i didn't get the chance to go to the south of france, but the environment looks so friendly and warm!

Debinhawaii said...

OK, I could seriously drop a wad of money there! ;-) Gorgeous pictures of the food and all of the goodies. ;-)

Anja said...

Hallo Christine,
I love the farmers markets in south of france. My favorite one is in Apt. Your pictures reflect exactly the athmosphere. Great post. I'm looking for the next "provence-post". Greetings Anja

tasteofbeirut said...

I lived in Aix-en-Provence for 6 months (I was going to university there) and missed Saint Rémy, unfortunatley; Aix had an outdoot market every Tuesday I think and it was similar to that one; I miss these outdoor markets so much! they were fabulous and i remember gorging on bread and cheese and succés pastries!

Lori said...

Oh my goodness that cheese and sausage. I need a plane ticket and some euros immediately!!

I love the use of toy animals to communicate! Excellent idea.

4wilder said...

It's only 1030am and after seeing your beautiful blog I am starving! And I doubt I can find any nearby food anywhere close of the quality of the South of France.

♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

Your first sentence: "Saint Rémy de Provence is a small village" was nagical! It made me think of Belle of Beauty and the Beast, singing and roaming around a lovely French provincial town.

Your pictures and your words took me there in an instant. Lovely post... it's just utterly charming!

Angie's Recipes said...

I don't think I have ever seen so many different kinds of cheeses before......and wow...I like those baskets.

Cinnamon-Girl said...

The tablecloths are gorgeous! And I couldn't help but laugh at the animal figures! What a wonderful market.

Art and Appetite said...

Christine, those cheeses are killing me! I have such a cheese fetish (haha)! I wish I could go to something like that, what a wonderful place to spend a wonderful morning weekend.

A Canadian Foodie said...

I was paying forward a little love I received yesterday and gave you a Beautiful Blog award. Stop by and pick it up!
:)
Valerie

My Little Space said...

Gorgeous pictures! And thank you so much for taking us along... I love going to this kind places too. Lots of food, artwork and more!

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

First time at your blog..Awesome pictures!!!!Loved the cheese wheels, & mixing bowls..Following you..

Margot said...

Glad you posted about St. Remy - I was watching Bourdain Monday night on the travel channel and swore he was passing by some of the shops/streets/etc I saw in your photos! What a coincidence.

What the episode convinced Jeff he would like to go to France (yay!)

Hope all is well!

~m~

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I would love to go to that market......surrounded by all sorts of things to smell and sample and see. A veritable feast!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Oh ....i walked the streets with u as i read thru the post ....and love those sausages ...i do...and ebrything ...i would have to buy a couple of those baskets to put in all my shopping in so delightfull a market...super produce...arts and crafts.....

Velva said...

I think I died and went to heaven!!!! Oh, these photos are so wonderful. I am so glad you are still sharing with us your France adventure.

Chef E said...

Visually I just ate my way through Provence! Today I had this cheese and meat board with a Pomerol tasting, oh well, lets just say being there is only better...

A Canadian Foodie said...

Did you getmy message? Drop by my site and see the little award I gifted you to "pay it forward" You deserve it!
:)
Valerie

Sook said...

I'd so buy those bread! Love it!

SashaInTheKitchen said...

wow those cheese and the bread look amazing. totally looks like paradise!

That's Ron said...

this place is awesome!

Gloria said...

OMG Christine Im in love of this place and the cheeses and the bread and your pictures are georgeous, thanks by sharing, gloria

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Thank you for a virtual tour of the market and the town on this grey Saturday! I love the animal figurines!!

Leisa Hammett said...

Oh, Goody! We'll be going there for our honeymoon this summer!

Karyne said...

Nice pictures but you have to know that real and good quality "saucisson" must have a kind of collar on which all the ingredients are written, and so on...unfortunatly most of those saicissons sold in markets are poor quality ones (too much fat, poor quality ingredients, industrial process...). They are often made far away from the place they are sold and that's why they are so cheap. Nowadays good and high quality saucissons mad by a butcher cost around 4€!
So please when you buy a saucisson make sure that's a good one!

lapochka99 said...

Thank you for a wonderful article! We will be in France in May and Provence is on the list of places to visit. I think, we'll try to visit this market as well. Do you have an idea of when it opens and how it usually runs for? Thanks!!!

kale @ tastes good to me! said...

Hi there! I recently did a brief post about my trip to Provence and I provided a link to this post of yours, because frankly it is so detailed and perfectly captured the market (which I refer to). I think we possibly have a picture of the same cheese vendor! (Am I crazy, or could it be..?) Thank you for your lovely blog!