Saturday, July 3, 2010

July's First Market

For buying food, I generally prefer Tuesday's markets to Saturday's, and I also prefer the crowds on Tuesday, which are smaller and less likely to have tourists. Today, for instance, I heard three German women talking about how much they'd just paid for some tomatoes, and a female voice braying, in an American accent, "Do you speak English?" (The market lady, to her credit, brayed back a lusty "Yaaaass!")

Still, I was out of a bunch of stuff, and anyway, I always need the exercise, so I hoofed on down, despite the blaring sun, which was daunting. The most important item was the vinegar. M. Mazet's wines are just okay, but they've still got that good old Languedoc terroir, as does his vinegar, which has been featuring in the vinaigrette that goes on my dinner salades composées of late, along with inexpensive olive oil from Aniane and, um, supermarket Dijon mustard. Anyway, he's only there on Saturdays, so I had to score.

Elsewhere, a woman had apricots, yellow peaches, white peaches, and melons. The peaches seemed ready, and I don't remember from last year whether it was the yellow or white that I preferred, so I got two of each. One yellow one was badly dinged by the trip back home, so I ate it and found it fantastically juicy and just as sour as could be. Not ready yet, I guess, but I'll try another soon.

The three "black tomatoes" are, I think, probably commercial, but they have a nice balance of sweet and acid, and while I wait for the Tomatologue (whose tomato festival I see I'm missing today, dammit!) to start setting up again on Tuesdays, I'm feeling like eating some tomatoes. Got those and the potatoes from a reputable family-run stall, although I don't think they actually raise any of what they sell. A saucisson sec with herbes de Provence will co-star with the potatoes in tomorrow's breakfast, and you'll also see some green beans and some mesclun in the picture, as well as a bunch of (incredibly rare: I guess they don't eat them much around here) green onions that are brighter and whiter than the picture shows. Might cut one or two of those into the morning meal, too.

I felt a certain impatience as I strolled through the market today, though, and I realized it's related to why I didn't see any lizards on Thursday. All of this stuff comes in its own season, and just because it's hot and sunny outside doesn't mean any of it is ready. I was seeing tiny turtles because they'd just been born recently. Ditto that small frog. The frogs I heard in April were making noise because they were mating, and the results aren't there to see yet. Same with the lizards. You can't rush this stuff, so enjoy it when it comes along. The asparagus is gone, the strawberries are in retreat, but there's more ahead. Patience.

Patience and maybe a visit to an air-conditioned space. That's tomorrow's plan.

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